The music of Everett Titcomb (1884-1968) occupies a unique niche in the catalogue of sacred organ and choral works by 20th-century Anglican composers in the United States. His compositional voice was clearly influenced by the Bostonian giants of his youth (Eugene Thayer, Dudley Buck, George Chadwick, Horatio Parker--who's mother once had Titcomb as a border) as well as his affinity for French music; yet at the same time his work is informed by his vast knowledge and understanding of plainchant and the polyphonic style of the 15th and 16th century Italians. An Anglo-Catholic who spent fifty years nearly to the day (1910-1960) as organist and choirmaster at Boston's Church of St. John the Evangelist in Bowdoin Street, his best organ works are based on plainchant tunes making them of more value to the Roman Catholic organist of the time than to the majority of Episcopalian ones and some of his best polyphony is in the form of Latin motets which while used at St. John's and other Anglo-Catholic parishes were perfectly at home sung at a Roman Mass.
Titcomb tends to be known for a handful of works--some of which are decidedly mediocre--which are quite popular with volunteer church choirs while his better work goes largely unplayed, unsung, and unheard.
"Pastorale" dates from 1962 and was published by H. W. Gray as No. 881 in their "St. Cecilia Series".
"Birdsong" features prominently in this work, but the mysterious and exotic chirpings in the works of Messiaen! The birds are more diatonic (tree-top birds) and modal (church-top birds) in Titcomb's conception! The sweet and varied flutes of the Furtwängler & Hammer, along with the glorious caverns of echo, make for a delightful experience.
SAMPLE SET UPDATE!!! - I believe that this grand sample set will be available for purchase - VERY SOON!
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Everett Titcomb, and one of the organ that he played and composed for.
A sample set review also COMING SOON!