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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/01/18)
Composer: Shera, Frank H.
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Frank Henry Shera, M.A., Mus.M. Cantab, F.R.C.O., Hon. A.R.C.M., held the Chair of Music at the University of Sheffield from 1928 to 1948. Born in Sheffield on May 4th 1882, he was educated at Oakham School, and after reading Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge attended the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Stanford and Walford Davies for composition, and Sharpe and Parratt for piano and organ respectively. After teaching at various schools he went in 1916 to Malvern College as Director of Music. Following the founding in 1927 of a Chair of Music at Sheffield, Shera was appointed there the first full-time James Rossiter Hoyle Professor of Music in 1928 (Percy Carter Buck had been appointed to the new post for two terms of the first session only), a position which he held until his resignation in 1948. Whilst at Sheffield he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1933-1936) and Public Orator (1934-1945). On his retirement he was awarded the title Emeritus Professor.

By definition, an aubade is a song or instrumental composition concerning, accompanying, or evoking daybreak. Assuming that you accept that, than Shera's "Aubade" is a fine example.

It was composed in 1913, and published by Oxford University Press in 1928. As far as I know, these are his only 2 published organ works. The piece is highly evocative, beginning and ending with a "violin solo." The central section is more animated with "cello solos," and the harmony is extremely chromatic, but not dissonant. The opening material returns, but with a much more elaborate and difficult accompaniment - difficult because it "flutters" almost unnoticeably, in some very tricky patterns and phrases.

The work melts away, essentially without slowing down. There's no "false drama," just and exquisite depiction of dawn.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Shera's teachers, Stanford, Parratt, and one of the chapel at Malvern College, Oxford, where Shera was director of music.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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