Norman Gilbert (1912-1975) grew up in Yorkshire and was a student of Sir Edward Bairstow at York Minster. During the 1930's he held positions at St. John's Church, Halifax and St. Paul's Church, Llandudno. Shortly after release from war service, he was appointed Music Master of Headlands Grammar School in Swindon, Wiltshire.
"Pastorale on 'Rockingham'" is the second work in the collection of "Festal Voluntaries" for Lent, published by Novello in 1956.
The term "festal" is misleading! It really means something like "significant" or "substantial," but NOT "festival" - at least in the case of this volume, which is for the Lenten season.
The work is based upon the beloved melody, "Rockingham," composed, or more properly, "altered" by Edward Miller, Mus. Doc., b. 1735, Norwich, England; d. 1807, Doncaster.
While the tune is used with several words, the Lenten association would certainly by with the text, "When I survey the wondrous Cross," written by the famous Isaac Watts (1674-1748).
Gilbert sets the tune in a gentle manner, sticking to a flowing and unaltered pattern of 3/4 time, and marked "Andante."
For this performance, I used mainly flute stops, particular the 8' & 4' of the Swell. If I were playing this piece separately, I probably would have include a soft diapason, but following up the Thiman piece, in the same key as this one (Eb), I wanted to give a little more variety.
The piece is more "conventional" harmonically than Thiman's, but also attractive and effective.
I scanned the entire volume of pieces, and the score is attached below. I'll do all the pieces in this collection.
A photo of Norman Gilbert, the only one that I have ever seen, is attached, as well as likenesses of Edward Miller and Isaac Watts.