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Lullaby, Op. 50

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (11/22/18)
Composer: Harwood, Basil
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: William Hill English Organ Model
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Basil Harwood (1859-1949) was born on 11 April 1859. He went up to Charterhouse in 1874 and left in 1876 having won an Exhibition to Trinity College, Oxford where he initially studied Classics and Modern History. He then studied for a further two years, 1881–1882, at the Leipzig Conservatory under Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn.

In 1883, he became organist of St. Barnabas Church, Pimlico completing his Sonata in C# Minor here in 1885. After this success, he then moved to Ely Cathedral in 1887 where he wrote the bulk of "Dithyramb," possibly his greatest organ work. His final appointment was as organist at Christ Church, Oxford and as precentor of Keble College, Oxford from 1892 to 1909. He retired early at age 50 (in 1909) but continued to compose prolifically.

He was a man who loved walking, was fastidiously proud of his beard, and who was loved by his choristers. His choirboys called him "Old Billy"... ;-)

"Lullaby" was published by Stainer & Bell in 1930, and is dedicated: "To Christopher." It is quite "unique" for a lullaby, and has some real challenges that need to be met when playing it. The score says: "Woodhouse, Almondsbury, August 10, 1930."

The main issues are the manual changes, which occur almost every measure in parts of the first section, along with the addition of "couplers." Harwood asks that most of the sound additions and subtractions be done with the sub and super couplers on the Swell, with the intent that the color remains identical, but the higher or lower octave is added or removed. (See the score.)

This was a challenge on the Hill, as the instrument is quite "articulate," and the room, while not dead, does not "carry" the line in the "silences" of lifting, etc.

Speaking of the Hill, I am finishing the review at the moment, and hope to have it published on "The Barde" within the coming week.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Old Billy at the organ of Christ Church, Oxford, ca. 1905 is also attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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