The Canadian Encyclopedia says this about the "early" organ works of Healey Willan (1880-1968): With the music for organ one enters a different world. Here Willan was thoroughly at home and made a significant and lasting contribution. One work stands out: the monumental "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" of 1916. The Preludes and Fugues in C minor and B minor and the "Epilogue" are the other major works from this period. While not exploring the possibilities of the instrument as searchingly as his masterpiece, they are idiomatic and very typical of their time. They combine an innate Englishness (with a Stanfordian flavour) and a European chromaticism that can be found in Reger and Karg-Elert.
Born in England, Willan became organist-choirmaster of Toronto's largest church, St. Paul's, Bloor Street, but it was his royalties as a composer which allowed him to leave "low church" St. Paul's in 1921 and to become Precentor of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto).
"Chorale Prelude on 'Te lucis ante terminum'" was published by C. F. Peters in 1955. For it's thematic material it uses a Gregorian melody for the well-known Compline hymn.
Willan writes a wonderfully delicate and always interesting "accompaniment," with the tune appearing in long notes in the pedal, or in the left hand, or in both pedal and left hand together, in a sort of "canon" (at the 5th, I think).
I fiddle around with this piece for a few weeks. Not because it's hard, but I just could not get it to sound right. I even tried 4 different organs. It shouldn't be fussy, but it just wasn't working. This is as close as I could coming to get what I wanted, so I'm glad to be rid of it, although it's a nice piece.
The score is attached below, as well as some Willan photos.
The translation of the Latin text is given in the First Comment.