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Prelude on the Hymn Tune "Petersen"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/28/16)
Composer: Hayton, Russell
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Modern (Neo-Baroque)
I've had this piece for years, and never played it. The reason? Well, I never "liked" the composer. He gave this copy to my personally sometime back in the late 70s, and he played it once through for me.

I could find no biographical information about him, but he was Organist and Choirmaster of St. James Church, Upper Montclair, NJ for over 30 years. He stayed there until well into his 70s (I think), and passed away in the 90s (I think).

The piece is actually a perfectly constructed thing. As far as I know, it's the only thing he wrote. I'd almost call it "worked out" as opposed to "composed," but maybe that's the same thing.

It is based upon the hymn tune "Petersen," which was in the "Hymnal 1940," and was one of two hymns in the marriage section. The tune was published in Halle in 1697, and in the hymnal setting was harmonized by Charles Wood.

Hayton wrote an absolutely perfect 4-pt. harmonization for the first verse before "bridging" (without stop) into the second verse. The 3-pt. writing in the manuals is in virtually perfect "baroque-style," and the tune appears in the pedal.

When Hayton played this for me, as I recall, he played it MUCH slower, with all sorts of tremulants, etc. To me, the music is ruined by all that fuss, so, while the elegant sound of Salisbury is far from "baroque," I've let the music speak for itself.

The piece was published by Carl Fischer Inc. in 1968, and while I guess it's still "copyrighted," you'd never find it anywhere.

If anyone is interested in a copy, please send me a personal message, and I will scan it and send it to you.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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