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.
Prière is part of my "Summertime Series," and it fits right in. :-)
It was published by G. Schirmer in 1906, and is dedicated: "To F. A. Ellis, Esq, (Stratford, Ont.). It is not surprising to see Faulkes dedicate this to a Canadian organist, as he had many friends and admirers around the world.
Written in the key of D major, "Prière" could fit in to a Sunday afternoon salon recital as easier as it could a church service.
It is a sweet song, choral-like, with some decorative figurations as the piece develops.
It is marked "Larghetto," but I've "kept it moving," and tried to be highly expressive, but not sentimental. Dragging, cloying sentimentality would just kill this!
Listening to the playback, the left could have been a little stronger, but I think the effect is still fine.
The score is attached below, as well as some photos of Faulkes and the churches at which he served.
Get ready for the fireworks-filled patriotic march on July 4th!