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Choral Improvisation on "Hanover" (O worship the King)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/26/18)
Composer: Francis, George Thomas
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Early 20th-century
People often ask WHERE do I find so many unusual pieces!

Most of them come from IMSLP, and the uploads there given by David Campbell tend to be my main source:

This is the case with these two fine pieces.

George Thomas Francis (1884 - June 24, 1946) was a pupil of Bairstow, and organist to the Cowley Fathers in Oxford and music master of Ardingly College, Sussex, prior to hist appointment as organist of Southwell Minster in 1926. He published the two pieces I've uploaded today, as well as a "Song of Freedom," published by Stainer & Bell in 1941.

"Choral Improvisation on 'Hanover'" was published by Novello in 1929, and is dedicated: "To Miss Betty Moseley, (Bishop's Manor, Southwell) on the occasion of her marriage."

It is a brief but mighty setting have all the sweep and grandeur of some of the great settings by Sir Hubert Parry.

The external sections are "toccata-like." A thunderous climax is reached, before the organ "drops away" for a neatly contrasting, brief section of dimuendo.

The toccata soon returns, all the mightier, and the conclusion with the Solo tuba playing in octaves, and double pedal is grandiose, to make an understatement!

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Southwell Minster, were G. T. Francis served as organist.

Southwell is one of the most beautiful and peaceful of all the great English cathedrals.

Notice just how MUCH more attractive the current organ case is, as opposed to the old one, which is certainly the way it would have looked when Francis was organist there!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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