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.
"Idylle in D-flat" was published by G. Schirmer in 1902. It is dedicated: "To Myron C. Ballou, Esq., Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, USA)"
The piece is played almost entirely upon the Swell strings, and gives the impression of floating down a stream. There is a definite sense of "monotony" about it. I use the term "monotony" to say that even a pleasant experience such as being on or next to a peaceful stream would certainly have an element of "sameness" about it, and that is the case here.
The writing is subtle, and the slow-moving harmonies transport the listener gently along as the stream murmurs quietly on its way. :-)
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of William Faulkes and one of St. Margaret's Church, Anfield.