William Faulkes (1863-1933), composer, organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organizer. Remarkably, for a composer so fluent and prolific, Faulkes was consistently omitted from the major dictionaries of music. From time to time, he is found in smaller more specific dictionaries – or perhaps more correctly, directories from the late 19th and early 20th century. In these, Faulkes is sometimes described as a leader of the modern English school of organ playing; or a leading composer of the English romantic school of organ playing.
He was born in Liverpool, and at the age of 10 became a chorister at St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, which was the largest brick church in England, and had the largest organ in Liverpool. At the age of 18, he was appointed organist of St. John's, Tue Brook, and five years later returned to St. Margaret's. He had a fine all-male (all volunteer) choir, and the level of musical excellence at the church was significant. As an organist, he was a brilliant performer, and earned the admiration of the leading British organist of the, W. T. Best.
"Theme and Variations in F" was published by G. Schirmer in 1910. It is dedicated "To John E. West, Esq." the famous organist whose "Variations on an Old Easter Melody" were uploaded by me a few days ago.
"Theme and Variations in F" is yet another example of the level of Faulkes' compositional skill. This time, he takes a theme (original) that is very "classical" in shape and tune, and works it out in 5 delightful variations. While it becomes "more English" as it goes along, the opening variation stay beautifully "in the classical," and the second one with all the pedals is a sweet masterpiece in it own right.
This entire piece presents Faulkes in yet another light, and once again the light is bright!
I dedicate this with friendship to adrianw. :-)
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Faulkes and one of St. Margaret's Church, Anfield.