Cedric Hargraves (1921–2010) was born in Adelaide, Australia and lived in New Zealand from 1935. He studied the organ from 1939–41 with the prominent New Zealand organist Edgar Randall. Hargraves spent his
professional career as a pharmacist. Upon retirement, he composed a number of works for organ during the 1990s.
"'Down Ampney' A Tribute" comes from Volume Three of Hargraves' works, and the score states that it was composed in August of 1996. It is a large and "expansive" work, and with the sense of a "grand tapestry" in my mind, I conceived my performance.
The work takes for its theme, RVW's magnificent melody, "Down Ampney," which is always linked with the words, "Come down, O Love Divine." The treatment is rhapsodic, evocative and always original. There are parts that are a little bit "awkward," (at least I found them to be so), but there are parts, as in the grand climax that are absolutely glorious. At this climax, the tune is set in canon, with the pedals taking the lead at first, but yielding to the manuals a bit later. The harmonies, simply stated, are electrifying.
I conceived my registration a little different than is indicated, but I'm very pleased with the result. I even did an "imitation" of Edwin Lemare in the final "Amen" where I attempt to do one of his "piston glissandos," seeking to replicate an "orchestral dimuendo."
The dynamic range is VERY WIDE, going from moderate to ABSOLUTE FULLEST to ABSOLUTE SOFTESS, so, you may have to adjust your volume when listening.
It's a particular pleasure and privilege to upload this work, as I have recently had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the composer's son, John. So, it's with special pleasure that I say that: "John, this is dedicated to you, and offered as a testament to the unique talent that your father possessed."
I also have the pleasure of including a photo of Cedric Hargraves, as well as one of RVW, and of the 14th cent. church in the Cotswold village of Down Ampney.