Thomas Frederick Handel Candlyn (1892–1964) was an English-born organist, composer and choirmaster who spent most of his professional career at two Episcopal Church congregations in New York.
He was born December 17, 1892 in Davenham, Cheshire, England, the son of Thomas John Candlyn, an organist, and received the Bachelor of Music degree from Durham University in 1911. In 1915 he was offered the position of organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s Church, Albany, and he emigrated to the United States. He was to remain at St. Paul’s for twenty-eight years. In 1918 he became a United States citizen.
In 1943 he succeeded T. Tertius Noble as organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, where he remained until his retirement in 1954. He composed two hundred works, primarily anthems, cantatas, service settings and organ solos.
"Prelude on Rockingham'" was published by Abingdon Press in 1961. Although it comes from near the end of Candlyn's life, the music has lost NONE of it's unique creativity.
The well-known tune, "St. Flavian" the 1562 publication of "Day's Psalter." It has quite a few text associations, including "O God, unseen, yet ever near" and "Lord, who throughout these forty days."
Candlyn does not indicate his text, but to me, this feels "mystical," and I think it is "O God, unseen."
Candlyn gives the a beautiful treatment, and the flowing writing has lovely lines and direction, with an exquisite, understated close. The middle section modulates, and the mood achieves a wonderful, rhapsodic feeling, but always refined and under complete control.
The work is marked "Adagio," and is in the key of F major.
When playing these works, you will need to find YOUR tempo, as the ones Candlyn gives are often too "quick." His MM for this one feels about right, but it's NOT "adagio."
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Candlyn at the organ of St. Paul's Church in Albany, NY, which was demolished in 1964.