William Faulkes (1863-1933), composer, organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organizer. 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.
I think the fact that Faulkes was not a "big-time" Oxford or Cambridge guy, really worked against him, holding this "nobody" back. However, the quality of his works and reputation endure.
"Grand Choeur" dates from 1910, and is dedicated "To my friend Charles W. Ashcraft, Esq.". It is a rousing march, certainly matching Elgar for swagger and the melodic and harmonic refinement of the middle section.
I won't give the end away, but I will tell you that there is a spot, actually a few, that are electrifying, not to mention thunderous!
I really don't know much about the organ that Faulkes played, but Hereford really DOES i!
The score and photos are attached below.