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Meditation on John Keble's Rogationtide Hymn

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/26/13)
Composer: Ireland, John
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Late Romantic
John Ireland (1879-1962) wrote only a small number of works for the organ, but his life centered around the instrument, more than might be imagined from the modest output for the instrument. As a student at the Royal College of Music he was a student of Charles V. Stanford, and the organ was Ireland's second study. He took lessons from Sir Walter Parratt (later Organist of St. George's, Windsor), and spent several years as his teacher's assistant at Holy Trinity, Sloane Street. Ireland later served as organist of St. Luke's, Chelsea, and was devoted to the Anglo-Catholic ritual there.

As a composer, he was active in many formats, and his organ music for the most part dates from the early part of his career. His last compostion was the "Mediatation on John Keble's Rogationtide Hymn," and dates from 1958. His liturgical works include the famous anthem, "Greater love hath no man, as well as the Communion Service in C, and the Morning and Evening Service in F.

His last organ piece, dated "May, 1958" is the "Meditation on John Keble's Rogationtide Hymn," is anything but light-hearted and witty, being instead both introspective and retrospective, composed when Ireland was very old and nearly blind. Its "religious" quality saves it from gloominess.

It's a difficult piece to play and to listen to, as it's not what you'd call "tuneful" with no Elgarian swagger, as in the earlier works.
It's highly chromatic, and you may want to read the text of the hymn as you listen.

This pieces is NOT a chorale prelude! It is not based upon a melody, but rather upon John Keble's wonderful text for Rogationtide.

Rogation Sunday is the day when the Church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessinsg on the fruits of the earth and the labors of those who produce our food. The word “rogation” is from the Latin rogare, “to ask.”

I will post the text as the first comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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