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.
"Chanson" dates from 1910, and is really a magical "little" piece. It's lilt and song-like melody will captivate you from the start, but there is much to follow, including some very clever "variations" and more than a few technical issues to manage.
As I was recording this, I was wondering just how many years has passed since this has been played by ANYONE!
Certainly, it is long, long forgotten...
Score and photos attached.
I have to wonder just how many years have passed since