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Barcarolle, Op. 13

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/11/17)
Composer: Wolstenholme, William
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Wolstenholme was born in Blackburn, Lancashire on 24 February 1865. He was blind from birth and was was educated at the Worcester College for the Blind Sons of Gentlemen. He showed considerable promise as a musician and impressed Henry Smart who agreed to take him as a pupil. Alas, Smart died before lessons began. He studied the violin under Edward Elgar. In 1887 he went up to Oxford University where he later graduated as a Bachelor of Music.
In 1888 he was appointed organist and choirmaster of St Paul’s Church, Blackburn and began to consolidate his position as a teacher, recitalist and improviser. Fourteen years later he accepted the post of organist at All Saint’s Church Norfolk Square, Paddington and afterwards at All Saints, St. John’s Wood. In 1908 he undertook a major concert tour of the United States. This secured his ‘international’ reputation. William Wolstenholme died in 1931.

Stylistically, he has been referred to as the ‘English Cesar Franck’ and although this may be unfair to both composers it is a reasonable rule of thumb and gives the listener a good idea of the kind and quality of music to expect. It is also possible that he can be bracketed with Alfred Hollins and Basil Harwood.

"Barcarolle" was published by Paxton in 1901.

By definition, a "barcarolle" a musical genre associated indelibly with boat travel, its intent was to musically represent the gentle rocking of a boat in water. It has slightly irregular rhythms of water lapping against a dinghy or boat of a lighter kind creating a movement which was slightly erratic.

Wolstenholme's piece is a fine example of the period and style. It presents quite a few technical issues to overcome, and, in its own way is something of an étude, as it has wide and continuous pedal part, legato thirds, sixths, and a number of other "tricky" things to deal with... ;-)

The score is attached below (p. 39), as well as photo of Wolstenholme, his family home, and two churches at which he was organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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