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Folk Tune

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Uploaded by: Ubertuba (03/21/15)
Composer: Whitlock, Percy
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Post-Romantic
Percy William Whitlock (1 June 1903 – 1 May 1946) was an English organist and post-romantic composer.

Whitlock was born in Chatham, Kent. A student of Vaughan Williams at London's Royal College of Music, Whitlock quickly arrived at a musical idiom that combined elements of his teacher's output and that of Elgar. His lush harmonic style also bore traces of Gershwin and other popular composers of the 1920s. Stanford, Rachmaninov and Roger Quilter are other important stylistic influences. Like Vaughan Williams and Frederick Delius, he often used themes that sounded like folk songs but were, in fact, original creations.

From 1921 to 1930 Whitlock was assistant organist at Rochester Cathedral in Kent. He served as Director of Music at St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth for the next five years, combining this from 1932 with the role of that town's borough organist, in which capacity he regularly played at the local Pavilion Theatre. After 1935 he worked for the Pavilion Theatre full-time. A tireless railway enthusiast, he wrote at length and with skill about his interest. Sometimes, for both prose and music, he used the pseudonym Kenneth Lark. He worked closely with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, with which he gave dozens of live BBC broadcasts between 1933 and his death.

Among Whitlock's organ works are the Five Short Pieces (1929), of which the "Folk Tune" played here is the second. It is typical of Whitlock's creative style, expressed most completely in shorter works, and as a miniaturist he can stand alongside many composers much better remembered than he.

Whitlock was diagnosed with tuberculosis in his twenties, and also suffered from hypertension. Near the end of his life he lost his sight altogether, and he died in Bournemouth a few weeks before his 43rd birthday. For decades afterwards he remained largely forgotten. This neglect has eased in recent times, with the increased popularity of post-romantic organ literature.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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