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Meditation on a Traditional Hymn Tune

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/08/18)
Composer: Thiman, Eric H.
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
Eric Harding Thiman (12 September 1900 – 13 February 1975) was an English composer, conductor and organist.

Born in Ashford, Kent, he was largely self-taught. He was awarded an FRCO in 1921, and a DMus in 1928. From 1930 he was Professor of Harmony at the Royal Academy of Music and later, from 1956 to 1962, was Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of London. From 1958, having moved from Park Chapel he was organist of the City Temple in London, a Congregational Church. He was a keen advocate of amateur music-making and in the 1960s was the conductor and Musical Director of the Purley Choral Society. The choir changed its name to The Chandos Choir in 1969. He wrote much educational music for piano and other instruments, as well as music for church choirs, some of which is still performed.

Thiman's list of published works numbers about 1,300. These include a large number of partsongs and many anthems and carols. Most of his church music was written for the non-conformist churches, but he also wrote anthems and canticles for Church of England Choirs.

Thiman (like Rowley) is another one of "those guys" that I have largely discounted, because he wasn't Anglican. However, every one of his that I have performed has been well-written.

"Meditation on a Traditional Hymn Tune" is really a very nice piece. It was published by G. Schirmer in 1968. It is flowing, with fine and occasionally "unexpected" harmonies. The music has a grand arch and reaches a big climax, so, registrations will need to be well-planned and managed.

The "traditional hymn tune" is an American one, known by the name "Cleansing Fountain," which is a 19th century camp-meeting melody.

Text usually associated with this tune is "There is a fountain filled with blood" by William Cowper (1731-1800). Probably not the most "appealing image" for trendy, modern worshippers!

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Eric Thiman and of the City Temple where he served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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