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Pastorale on Winchester Old, Op. 37, No. 2

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/11/15)
Composer: Farrar, Ernest
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Late Romantic
Ernest Bristow Farrar (7 July 1885 – 18 September 1918) was an English composer, pianist and organist. He was was born in Lewisham, London. The son of a clergyman, he was educated at Leeds Grammar School, where he began organ studies, and in May 1905 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. There he studied with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Sir Walter Parratt. He also took up several posts as organist in Dresden, South Shields and Christ Church, High Harrogate.

His career was cut short by the outbreak of World War I, as he enlisted in the Grenadier Guards in 1915 and joined the regiment in August 1916. He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion Devonshire Regiment on 27 February 1918. He was killed on the Western Front at the Battle of Epehy Ronssoy, near Le Cateau in the Somme Valley south, west of Cambrai, in 1918. He had been at the front for only two days.

Despite his short life, Farrar wrote a large body of music for orchestra, voices and organ.

Today, Farrar is perhaps best known as the teacher of Gerald Finzi. Farrar's death affected the young Finzi deeply, and from the very beginning, most of his music was elegiac in tone. Frank Bridge dedicated his Piano Sonata to the memory of Farrar.

"Pastorale on 'Winchester Old'" is a brief work, conceived in an "orchestral style," and tricky to play. This tune is always linked with the Christmas text: "While shepherds watched their flocks by night."

Despite its brevity, it features a "solo viola part" in the right hand, with a lot of "thumbing-down" in the left. There are even a few "2's against 3's" just to make it interesting... ;-) The Solo Clarinet appears just before the conclusion.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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