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Larghetto in F-sharp Minor

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The Gió Riverside

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (02/14/18)
Composer: Wesley, Samuel Sebastian
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: The Armley Schulze
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–1876) was the illegitimate son of Samuel Wesley (1766–1837) and Sarah Suter, who had been his housekeeper. Suter bore him several children and their relationship out of wedlock - a very considerable burden at the turn of the nineteenth century—Samuel Sebastian was to become the most important English church composer between Purcell and Stanford.

He was successively organist of Leeds Parish Church, and the cathedrals of Hereford, Exeter, Winchester, and Gloucester.

His musicianship received great praise: 'One great feature relieved the morning performances from dullness – the unequalled organ playing of Dr Wesley'. So wrote one critic after hearing Samuel Sebastian Wesley – 'the greatest organist now living' – perform at the 1843 Birmingham Festival. His reputation reflected not only his skill as a performer, but also his outstanding ability at improvisation. Herein lay the secret of his greatness.

His small output for organ occupy a pivotal position in the history of English organ music, straddling as they do two eras: the final years of the long tradition of organ music for manuals alone, written for an instrument with the idiosyncratic English 'long' compass, and the start of a new era, characterized by obbligato pedal parts and the adoption of the shorter continental 'C' compass. Musically, however, they point more to the future than to the past and remind us not only that Wesley was a contemporary of Mendelssohn, but also that his ears were receptive to everything he heard in the London of his youth.

"Larghetto in F-sharp Minor" dates from 1840 while Wesley was still organist of Leeds Parish Church, a church that became prominent for the quality of its liturgy and musical standards.

On Ash Wednesday, a day too solemn for organ music, there is a mannered sense of sorrow in these notes, making a contrite statement.

The score is attached below as well as a photo of Leeds PC, and a painting of Wesley.

Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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