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 at times, and 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.
Born in Liverpool, 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.
Prelude Heroic was published by G. Schirmer in 1910, the first of a set of four pieces. It is dedicated: "To James Lyon, Esq., Mus. Doc., Oxon. Lyon (1872-1949) was originally largely self-taught. His music was described as "Neo-Romantic" in style and he certainly had a taste for writing dramatic music. The
organ attracted him particularly and he wrote for it three sonatas, two suites and numerous individual movements.
In this recording, I've tried to show the splendid full organ, in various degrees of "fullness." The end has everything on, and the listening point is about mid-way in the room.
The result is not English, but I think exciting and effective.
I can't help but feel that my "triplets" are bit "over rhythmic." The music immediately made me think of something dramatic and Spanish... ;-)
The score is attached, as well as photos of Faulkes and of St. Margaret's Church in Anfield, taken the same year that this piece was composed.