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Introitus on 'Herzliebster Jesu'

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Widor - 10 Symphonies

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/12/18)
Composer: Slater, Gordon
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th century
Gordon Archbold Slater D.Mus. FRCO (1896–1979) was an English cathedral organist, who served in Leicester Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral. He was a composer of organ, piano and choral music. Three hymn tunes appear in well-known and well-used books. The famous of which, 'St Botolph' is very widely sung to the words "Jesu the Very Thought of Thee".

Slater was an organist for St Botolph's Church, Boston (1919–1927), Leicester Cathedral (1927–1931) and Lincoln Cathedral (1931–1966).

"Introitus on 'Herzliebster Jesu'" is the third in the volume of "Festal Voluntaries for Lent," published by Novello in 1956. The work is dedicated "To Clifford Hewis." who I believe was Slater's assistant at Lincoln Cathedral.

The title of "Introitus" is some confusing, as this is really the march to Calvary (at least in my opinion). There is a brief introduction, as in when Christ is arrayed after being scourged. After this, the real procession begins.

The dynamic level is quite restrained throughout, and the color is dark, emphasized by the heavy-footed "thump and drag" of the 32' Open Wood.

The tempo is maintained, as in a march, but it does "falter" several times, perhaps intending to portray Jesus stumbling and falling under the weight of the Cross...

Don't miss the exquisite final cadence.

The poignant tune was composed by Johann Crüger (1598-1662) and the text most often associated with it are Robert Bridges' (1844-1930) translation of words by Johann Heermann (1585-1657).

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

This is the sort of piece that probably sounds "better" live, as the impression of the pedal is one that makes its profound weight felt, and than disappears. In playback, it may rattle your wall or speakers, but the sound is correct, and not "too heavy."

The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Gordon Slater, and three of Lincoln Cathedral.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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