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Le Prie-Dieu (A Meditation)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/06/17)
Composer: Oldroyd, George
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Dr. George Oldroyd (1887–1956) was organist of St. Alban's Church, Holborn from 1919 to 1920, and then of St Michael's Church, Croydon from 1920 until his death in 1956. He was also teacher of music studies at Whitgift School from 1933 - 1947, a part-time post which gave him time to compose and to give private tuition.

He composed numerous settings of the mass, but is best remembered for his "Mass of the Quiet Hour" composed in 1928, whose swooping melodies and lush harmonies recall the "Palm Court" style of that era. It was dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Cosmo Gordon Lang, and is still part of the repertoire of many English cathedrals and parish churches. With the turbulence of the time - war in Ireland, a general strike and the beginnings of world depression - one can understand Oldroyd's quest for a "quiet hour", especially as we come to terms with the unsettling events of our own time. The music harks back to the Victorian era, as if deliberately to spurn the innovations and often bewildering experiments of the New Music that were sweeping across Germany and France. It is clear and straightforward, embracing romanticism as decidedly as the New Music rejected it.

"Le Prie-Dieu" was published by Oxford University Press in 1949. It is an atmospheric piece intended for liturgical and not recital use. It has a sense of awe and reverence, and the slight touch of "modality" helps to prevent sentimentality.

This is another one of those "soft pieces," so you will probably have to turn up your volume, but watch out for the 32' at the end. ;-)

A prie-dieu is a type of prayer desk primarily intended for private devotional use, also be found in churches. It is a small, ornamental wooden desk furnished with a thin, sloping shelf for books or hands, and a kneeler. I've attached a few photos below.

I've also attached the score and photos of St. Alban's and St. Michael's, plus a photo of George Oldroyd.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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