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Improvisation on 'The Agincourt Hymn'

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/01/18)
Composer: Roberts, Myron J.
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: 20th Century
Myron J. Roberts (1912-2004) was born in San Diego, and studied piano and organ at Stanford University, Warren Allen. He completed his undergraduate in 1935 at the College of the Pacific, and received his master's degree from the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, studiying with Clarence Dickinson. He served as professor of organ and theory at the University of Nebraska for 34 years, and served at several churches in Lincoln, including First-Plymouth Congregational, Holy Trinity Episcopal, and the RC Cathedral of the Risen Christ. In addition to his musical work, he maintained a lifelong interest in gardening and astronomy.

While some of his choral music seemed to be written for the volunteer musician, his organ music was written with a more adventurous and carefree spirit. He composed works for Robert Baker, Mildred Andrews and other top performers.

"Improvisation on 'The Agincourt Hymn'" was published by H. W. Gray in 1964 as No. 904 in the famous "St. Cecilia Series." It is dedicated "To Sir William McKie" (who was organist of Westminster Abbey).

Based upon the famous hymn/song that was sung at the Battle of Agincourt between England and France, which took place on October 25, 1415. This thanksgiving song, "Deo Gracias Anglia" was improvised by King Henry V at the end of the battle.

This work is quite typical of Roberts' style, both in harmonic usage and organ textures. As you would expect, fanfare trumpets feature prominently in this peace.

The feel is something of a combination of a great carillon ringing while the trumpets sound forth the song of victory. Not easy, especially in the "middle section," the work is brief and to the point, and makes the sense of grandeur from start to finish.

The score is attached below. I have never found any photos of Myron Roberts, but perhaps someone else may have one. I did attach 2 photos of Sir William McKie.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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