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Prelude and Fugue in B Minor

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/11/12)
Composer: Willan, Healey
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Late Romantic / Early Modern
Description:
Healey Willan's "Prelude and Fugue in B Minor", seems to be largely unknown.

The Canadian Encyclopedia says this about his "early" organ works: 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. (Willan knew and played a few pieces by the latter, but it is doubtful he had heard much Reger at the time he was writing these pieces.)

The work performed here is highly dramatic, and the "Prelude" (Largo, poco rubato) is essentially a "full organ piece," with a few "Wagnerin" passages for the Solo Tuba.

The "Fugue" (Lento maestoso) shows the composer's contrapuntal skill. It's "Bach plus Reger plus English cathedral" all combined into this relatively brief, but still monumental fugal movement.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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