Hugh Blair (25 May 1864 – 22 July 1932) was an English musician, composer and organist. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Rev. Robert Hugh Blair, who founded Worcester College for the Blind in 1866. A chorister at Worcester Cathedral and a pupil at The King's School, Worcester, Blair was organ scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. 1886, Mus.B. 1887, M.A. 1896 and Mus.D. 1906.
He was Organist of Worcester Cathedral from 1895 to 1897, having been Acting Organist before that time. Edward Elgar dedicated his cantata "The Black Knight" to Blair, who was conductor of the Worcester Festival Choral Society.
Worcester Cathedral Library contains copies of Blair's compositions, and his splendid Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor for double choir is in the repertoire of every cathedral choir, and is still often performed and recorded.
I found many interesting things at Rousseau Media Music: http://rousseau.shp.media/
There you can read more about Hugh Blair and his troubled life.
I'll soon be reviewing the new Hill Organ by Sonus Paradisi on "The Barde," and I'll be doing a fair number of "demo-recordings" over the coming weeks. These two works by Blair are part of the group.
"Two Pieces" were published by Novello in 1925, only seven years before Blair's death, and the show his fully mature style. They are dedicated: "To my friend Miss Frances Palmer."
"Romance" is dark and shimmery. It features the Orchestral Oboe stop on the Choir, and is really quite a wonderful piece, although I admit that I found this very hard to "get right," as the details are fussy and quite tricky.
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Hugh Blair, and one of Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone Road in London, where Blair served as organist after his dismissal from Worcester Cathedral.
The MIDI file is also included.
Stay tuned for MANY more recordings on the Hill!