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Reverie on the Hymn tune "University"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/25/12)
Composer: Grace, Harvey
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Romantic
Description:
Harvey Grace (1874–1944) was an English organist and music writer. He was a chorister at Romsey Abbey, studied under Madeley Richardson at Southwark Cathedral, and became Organist of St. Mary Magdelene, Munster Square, London. He was editor of The Musical Times and a noted author and adjudicator. He was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral from 1931 to 1937. His years at Chichester coincided with a new awareness of liturgical solemnity; plainsong was used regularly at some of the weekday services from May 1936. Grace was appointed Commissioner of the School of English Church Music in 1937, and resigned at the end of the year. He joined the staff of Trinity College of Music in 1939, and also acted as Organist of East Grinstead Parish Church during World War II.

Reverie, which was published in 1922, is based on the hymn tune, "University". It comes from "John Randall's 'Psalm & Hymn Tunes, 1794."

The text is George Herbert's (1593-1633) beautiful "version" of Psalm 23, the first verse of which is quoted by Grace:

The God of love my Shepherd is,
And he that doth me feed;
While he is mine and I am his,
What can I want or need?

I think "Reverie" is a very "forward-looking piece", which sounds SO much like what Harold Darke was writing in the 1950s!

It begins with a clever "duet" with MANY dissonant points, but all in a very gentle usage. The piece flows along in a manner that preserves the pastoral aspect of the text, but still manages to get in quite a bit of material,

In order to make this more interesting, I performed the piece as a "hymn prelude," followed by all the verses of the hymn, played in a "simple" cathedral manner, allowing the natural sounds of the Willis to do the talking.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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