Sir Edward Cuthbert Bairstow (22 August 1874 – 1 May 1946) was an English organist and composer in the Anglican church music tradition. His grandfather Oates Bairstow, was founder of the eponymous clothing firm. He studied the organ with John Farmer at Balliol College, Oxford, and while articled under Frederick Bridge of Westminster Abbey received tuition from Walter Alcock. He studied organ and theory at the University of Durham, receiving the Bachelor of Music in 1894, and the Doctor of Music in 1901. After holding posts in London, Wigan and Leeds, he served as organist of York Minster from 1913 to his death. He was knighted in 1932 for his services to music.
Notorious for his terseness and bluntness, Bairstow did not always endear himself to others. Asked whether he would be willing to follow the example of his predecessor at York, T. Tertius Noble, and emigrate to the United States, he replied that he would "rather go to the devil". Comfortably ensconced in Yorkshire, he refused an offer to succeed Frederick Bridge at Westminster Abbey.
Bairstow's compositions are mainly for the church. He wrote 29 anthems, ranging from large-scale works for choir and organ such as "Blessed city, heavenly Salem" to elegant miniatures like "I sat down under his shadow" and "Jesu, the very thought of thee". Among his anthems, the masterly "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" is perhaps the best known. His service music includes important settings. There is also a cantata, "The Prodigal Son", for choir and chamber orchestra. He was active as an instrumental composer, mainly for the organ, and some 12 pieces were published in his lifetime, the finest being the 1937 "Sonata in E-flat".
The score is attached below, as well as some photos of Bairstow and of York Minster.
I should warn you that the score has many OLD markings from years ago, for a specific organ. I rarely mark my music and none of these "directions" are used in these uploads.
Musical notes in First Comment.