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Pastoral

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/15/19)
Composer: Sumsion, Herbert
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: St Mary-le-Bow, London
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Mid-20th century
Description:
Herbert Whitton Sumsion CBE (14 January 1899 – 11 August 1995) was an English musician who was organist of Gloucester Cathedral from 1928 to 1967. Through his leadership role with the Three Choirs Festival, Sumsion maintained close associations with major figures in England's 20th-century musical renaissance, including Edward Elgar, Herbert Howells, Gerald Finzi, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Although Sumsion is known primarily as a cathedral musician, his professional career spanned more than 60 years and encompassed composing, conducting, performing, accompanying, and teaching. His compositions include works for choir and organ, as well as lesser-known chamber and orchestral works.

Sumsion was a key figure in the world of English cathedral music in the 20th century. Rather than try to "pick apart" his interesting and important career, I will refer you to the full information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Sumsion

Sumsion's compositional style reflects the influence of his more famous contemporaries Howells, Finzi, and Vaughan Williams, while at the same time retaining something of the ‘diatonic strength’ of Edwardian composers like Parry and Brewer. Despite these influences, Sumsion's music speaks in a fresh and distinctive voice that is appealing to both performers and listeners. His harmonic language is sturdy and conventional, yet often tinged with modality, and his melodic style is fluid and elegant.

"Pastoral" is found in "A Book of Simple Organ Voluntaries," published by OUP in 1949. I have had it for years and never played it, thinking it didn't look all that "simple," and I don't think it is! ;-)

This upload features some of the flute stops on the organ, as well as the soft stops of the Swell. This performance uses the 3-manual, extended version. I don't generally use extended sets, but I want to demonstrate the capabilities that the additions give.

Several photos of Herbert Sumsion & some of Gloucester Cathedral are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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