Everett Titcomb (1884-1968) spent his entire career in the greater Boston Massachusetts area. He was born in Amesbury, and studied organ and composition with Samuel Whitney, organist and choirmaster of The Church of The Advent, Boston. Titcomb’s compositional inclinations lean strongly toward the music of High Church ritualism (Anglo-Catholic), and beginning in 1910 he was able to give full vent to them. That year he was appointed to The Church of St. John the Evangelist, Beacon Hill, the
and The New England Conservatory of Music. He served St. John’s until he died in 1968.
Titcomb's organ music consists mostly of small works, with a few larger ones thrown in. This little miniature gem is based on the Easter Marian antiphon, "Regina coeli."
It is No. 1 of Three Short Pieces on Familiar Gregorian Melodies, is dedicated to Francis W. Snow, Mus. Doc., and was published by The B.F. Wood Music Company of Boston,
It is marked "Allegretto," and because of its frequent changes of registration, is very much in the form or an improvisation.
Titcomb directs that the music is to be played "In Free Rhythm. The bar-lines are employed to suggest the phrasing of the Gregorian melody, which should be flexible, and played with a spirit of child-like joy and devotion."
While the piece is not "difficult," I found it harder to bring off then I thought it would be. The colors really don't sound "right" for the "classic Titcomb sound." This piece would sound more "correct" on an Austin or Skinner, that had smooth flutes under expression on the Choir, etc.
As it was, I had to use the Swell "as the Choir," and the Solo "as the Swell." In listening to the playback, the Solo Oboe sounds too "bright," for the ideal, but, I guess all in all, it's OK... ;-)
The text of the Antiphon is as follows:
O Queen of Heaven, be joyful, Alleluia.
Because He whom so meetly thou barest, Alleluia,
Hath risen, as He promised, Alleluia.
Pray for us to the Father, Alleluia.