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Postlude in E Minor

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A noble Hill organ, twice orphaned, finds a new home!

The proud organ, built by William Hill for St. Paul's Church-Burton-on-Trent almost 150 years a...

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (01/23/19)
Composer: Willan, Healey
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Mid-20th century
Description:
The other day, someone questioned why I said that Willan sometimes sounds like Reger...

The Canadian Encyclopedia says this about the "early" organ works of Healey Willan (1880-1968): With the music for organ one enters a different world. Here Willan was thoroughly at home and made a significant and lasting contribution. One work stands out: the monumental "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" of 1916. It represents the culmination of Willan's first period of organ composition, which started ca 1906 with a Fantasia on 'Ad coenam agni.' The Preludes and Fugues in C minor and B minor and the "Epilogue" are the other major works from this period. While not exploring the possibilities of the instrument as searchingly as his masterpiece, they are idiomatic and very typical of their time. They combine an innate Englishness (with a Stanfordian flavour) and a European chromaticism that can be found in Reger and Karg-Elert.

Born in England, Willan became organist-choirmaster of Toronto's largest church, St. Paul's, Bloor Street, but it was his royalties as a composer which allowed him to leave "low church" St. Paul's in 1921 and to become Precentor of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto).

"Postlude in E Minor" was published by Hinrichsen in 1957 as part of "Preludes- Interludes-Postludes, Vol. 1".

Despite its relative brevity, it is a massive prelude and fugue in which Willan hearkens back to his earlier style. The chordal passages, the surging sudden runs, and the intense chromatics of the prelude lead directly in the tight fugue, with its fine counterpoint and massive build up. The end is quite overwhelming, and this is everything that Hereford has on at the end, including the Solo tromba coupled at 16' 8' & 4'

Listening to this, you'll see WHY I said that Willan sometimes sounds like Reger! :-)

The score is attached below, as well as series of photos of Healey Willan.

MORE Willan coming!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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