Arthur Milner (1894-1972) was a Newcastle based teacher, performer and composer. He was an FTCL (piano), ARCM (piano) and ARCO. He held a Durham D.Mus by examination. He had been Director of Music at Newcastle Royal Grammar School for 22 years, whilst in his younger years had been organist at St. George's, Jesmond, which had a fine 4 manual Lewis organ. He was quietly spoken, a perfect gentleman and an excellent teacher.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s he wrote a fair number of organ pieces, numbering about 20, which were published mainly by Novello and Ashdown.
For some odd reason, it is very difficult to find biographical material about him, nor could I find any photo of him.
The "Three Sketches" were published by Novello in 1962, and are dedicated "For Bryan Hesford". Hesford (19301-1996) was an organist and composer who held several significant positions, including Wymondham Abbey, Brecon Cathedral, St. Margaret's Priory and Parish Church, King's Lynn, and St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church, Galway.
In this music, you will hear overtones of the writing of Herbert Howells. While the style is unmistakably English, there are French influences to be sure. This is not surprising in theses pieces, as the dedicatee was a student of Marcel Dupré.
"Pavan" is the only one of the three that uses anything approaching the "full organ." The sound pays homage to the early works, and has influences of works by Howells. Another feature that seems to by "typical" of Milner's writing is the way he manages his keys. Starting in F minor, the piece works it's way around until it arrives in F-sharp minor, before finally coming home to where it began, ending with a very satisfying and strong cadence at the conclusion.
I received these pieces from "CarlJ", one of our members in Sweden, and these three pieces are dedicated to him. THANK YOU Carl!
This is my 999th upload. Number 1000 will be the MOST UNUSUAL EASTER PIECE you have ever heard, and uploads at midnight tonight!