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Epilogue and Fugue (A Fugal Trilogy, No. 3)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/22/18)
Composer: Willan, Healey
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: The Armley Schulze
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Post-Romantic - Mid-20th Century
The Canadian Enclycolpedia say this about the "early" organ works of Healey Willan (1880-1968): With the music for organ one enters a different world. Here Willan was thoroughly at home and made a significant and lasting contribution. One work stands out: the monumental "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" of 1916. It represents the culmination of Willan's first period of organ composition, which started ca 1906 with a Fantasia on 'Ad coenam agni.' The Preludes and Fugues in C minor and B minor and the "Epilogue" are the other major works from this period. While not exploring the possibilities of the instrument as searchingly as his masterpiece, they are idiomatic and very typical of their time. They combine an innate Englishness (with a Stanfordian flavour) and a European chromaticism that can be found in Reger and Karg-Elert. (Willan knew and played a few pieces by the latter, but it is doubtful he had heard much Reger at the time he was writing these pieces.)

The "Fugal Trilogy" was published by Oxford University Press in 1958, and while a late work, seems to hearken back to Willan's earlier, "darkly German romantic style". Each of the three works in the set is essentially a "prelude and fugue", and each one explores a different "style" or "type" of setting.

The third and final movement in the trilogy, is the rather epic, "Elegy and Fugue".

The "Elegy" is played all on various combination of string stops of the Swell and Solo, and has the soft 32' in the pedal. The "Fugue" is a tense, crawlingly-chromatic work, that begins slowly and softly, but gradual builds up to an acceleration over a long dominant pedal before the subject thunders forth in full organ. The darkness is finally conquered, and the work ends in a glorious A major.

I dedicate this work with friendship to our member, unclegally. I hope you like it Simon! :-)

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Healey Willan & of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto, where he was organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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