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.
Sonata (No. 2), Op. 106 was published by G. Schirmer in 1909. It is dedicated "To my friend J. W. Potter, Nice, France." Despite the mention of France, there is absolutely nothing "French" about any part of this work! It is a passionate mixture of the English organ style in terms of texture and use of the organ, but the inspiration of the work is clearly Germanic, with influences of Mendelssohn and even Liszt in the foreground. Saying that the work is "influenced" by Mendelssohn is something of an understatement, is the resemblance to Mendelssohn's "Third Sonata" is unmistakable, even to the principal key of A Minor.
Performance notes and individual timings of the movements are given in the First Comment.
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of William Faulkes and one of St. Margaret's Church, Anfield.