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 time, W. T. Best.
"Communion (in F)" was published in 1898 by Schott & Co., and is dedicated "To Martin Schneider, Esq." It is part of a series called "Pieces for the Organ."
Expecting nothing more than a "pretty little communion ditty," I was immediately struck by the sensual and shimmering aspect of this piece. Rather than "something liturgical," this work as more of an impressionistic "Harmonies du soir" atmosphere about it.
I'm reminded very much of the works of Karg-Elert. It seems quite "different" from the usual "music for covering background noises during communion" sort of item! ;-)
The score is attached below, as well as a MIDI file. In addition, 2 photos of Faulkes are attached, andone of St. Margaret's Church, Anfield.
On Sunday, I will upload the large-scale "Rhapsodie on a Theme for Pentecost" by Faulkes, as the "Faulkes Follies" ramps up! :-)