George John Bennett, Mus.Doc. (5 May 1863 –1930) was an English cathedral organist and composer, who served in Lincoln Cathedral from 1895.
George John Bennett was born on 5 May 1863 in Andover, Hampshire. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under G.A. Macfarren and C. Steggall, and also abroad, in Berlin under H. Barth (piano) and F. Kiel (composition) as well as in Munich (1885-1887) under H. Bussmeyer (piano) and Josef Rheinberger (composition).
Before coming to Lincoln, Bennett served as organist of St. John's Church, Pimlico. I looked for information about this church, which was undoubtedly an Anglo-Catholic parish, but it seems to be another church long gone...
To read about the construction of the Lincoln Cathedral Willis, the last "Father Willis" organ, and one of only two, "real" surviving cathedral Willis organs, you can read here:
"Three Pieces for Organ" were published by Stainer & Bell in 1923. The first work, "Idyll" struck me as being the most "modern" of the group. It is also the most technically difficult.
I suppose you could say that elements of the pastorale are prominent in it, with it shifting of colors, from dark to light, and back, as well as changing from minor to major tonalities.
Harmonically, this one is the most "advanced" of the set, and does not sound like "something composed by a church organist!"
Also, the elements of Rheinberger's style, Bennett's composition teacher, are not present in this "modern-sounding" work.
If you have ANY interest in English organ music, KEEP THESE SCORES! You'll NEVER find them again...
The valuable score is attached below, as well photos of John Bennett's grave and family memorial, as well as photos of the most magnificent Lincoln Cathedral.
THANKS to Dr. John Henderson, Honorary Librarian and Archivist to the Royal School of Church Music for the score AND for one of the three known photographs of George J. Bennett!