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, and does so with an integrity that many people still find to be sincere and appealing.
"Contemplation" was published by Augener Ltd. in 1913. Like all of Oldroyd's works, 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. It is dedicated: "To F. A. Vaizey. Esq."
As with the previous "Prelude in F# Minor, the essential "trick" in playing these pieces is the smooth shifting of colors. In this one, you'll hear an impassioned crescendo moving from pp to ff and back again, and all in the space of a few measures. The changes MUST occur during the flow of the music. It can't sound like your looking for your changes, of the effect is completely lost.
If you are into realism in your sample sets, give notice at around 3:15
. You'll hear the click of the reversible for the 32'!
This is my 1500 upload! :-)
The score is attached, as well as photos of Oldroyd, St. Alban's and St. Michael's churches .