William Southcombe Lloyd Webber CBE (11 March 1914 – 29 October 1982) was an English organist and composer. He also notably served as a teacher, instructing pupils on music theory at the Royal College of Music for a time. He was born in London, the son of a self-employed plumber, but his father was a keen organ 'buff' who spent what little money he had travelling to hear various organs in and around the capital. Often he would take his son with him and, before long, young William started to play the organ himself and developed a keen interest that bordered on the obsessional. By the age of 14, William Lloyd Webber had already become a well-known organ recitalist, giving frequent performances at many important churches and cathedrals throughout Great Britain. He won an organ scholarship to the Mercers' School, later winning a further scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and gained his FRCO diploma at nineteen.
In 1938, he was appointed organist and choirmaster of All Saints, later becoming Musical Director at Westminster Central Hall, London, the headquarters of the Methodist church in the United Kingdom.
I'll be uploading all six of these fascinating pieces during this Holy Week.
I received these from our member, giwro, so, it was sincere friendship that I dedicate all of these uploads to him. THANK YOU, Jon! I'm grateful for the music you've shared with me, but much more grateful for you many kindnesses.
The prelude on "Gerontius" is the sixth piece in the group, and it's a hard one! It sounds like a grand improvisation at the start, but rapidly moves into an "Allegro molto" that churns along, hinting at the tune, more than quoting it. The chromatics are intense, and the mood is exciting. It's FAR different from what we think of a Passiontide hymn.
The full hymn precedes the piece, and the full text is given in the First Comment.
Several photos of Webber are attached below.