William Faulkes 1863-1933. Composer, organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organiser. Remarkably, for a composer so fluent and prolific, Faulkes was consistently omitted from the major dictionaries of music. From time to time, he is found in smaller more specific dictionaries – or perhaps more correctly, directories from the late 19th and early 20th century. In these, Faulkes is sometimes described as a leader of the modern English school of organ playing; or a leading composer of the English romantic school of organ playing.
He was born in Liverpool, and at the age of 10 became a chorister at St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, which was the largest brick church in England, and had the largest organ in Liverpool. He began his studies with the organist, Henry Ditton-Newman. At the age of 18, he was appointed organist of St. John's, Tue Brook, and five years later returned to St. Margaret's. He had a fine all-male (all volunteer) choir, and the level of musical excellence at the church was significant. As an organist, he was a brilliant performer, and earned the admiration of the leading British organist of the, W. T. Best. His compositional output is wide and varied, but the bulk of his music is for the organ, and many of his works are finely crafted.
"Pastorale in E" was published by Schott in 1894, and is dedicated "To T. Westlake-Morgan, Organist of Bangor Cathedral."
Conceived on a much grander scale than the A major pastorale, this remarkable work features long double-pedal notes, which underpin an amazing amount of melodic and harmonic interest. The middle section provides beautiful contrast to the framing sections.
When I played this for my wife, mentioning that I thought it was "very Italian," she said it made her think of lying in a sunny field. :-)
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Faulkes and of St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, Liverpool, which burned down long ago, and of Bangor Cathedral.