Kenneth Leighton (1929–1988) — Fanfare (1966) for organ
Kenneth Leighton (1929–1988) was born in Yorkshire and educated first at Queen’s College, Oxford and then in Rome with the composer Goffredo Petrassi. Leighton taught at Edinburgh University (eventually as the Reid Professor of Music) from 1963 until his death from cancer in 1988. Like many English composers, Leighton composed numerous choral and organ works for the English church alongside major concert pieces in all genres. While his church music often partakes of the jubilant vigor and style typical of English sacred music of the period, his concert works display an intensity and emotional depth that is exceptionally compelling; in particular, this can be heard in masterworks such as his third symphony and cello concerto.
“Fanfare” (1966) is Leighton’s most popular organ piece, commissioned by Oxford University Press for the first volume of its beloved “Easy Modern Organ Music” series of publications. It is very typical of Leighton’s organ style, and of the style of the 1960s and 70s English church music in general as typified by composers such as Leighton and William Mathias: spiky, tonally founded harmonies with strong rhythm.
Published by Oxford University Press in “Easy Modern Organ Music, Book 1.”