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Romance (Three Pieces for Organ, No. 3)

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Blackburn Cathedral

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/24/19)
Composer: Bennett, George John
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
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 third work, "Romance" has more of the feel of an "English cathedral work," but also has strong elements of Rheinberger's writing, even in the D-flat tonality.

Although titled as "Romance," this work struck me more as an "Elegy" or "Solemn Prelude" sort of thing, but what's in a title?!?

This one is "typically cathedral" in that it calls for a LOT of pistons, which need to "come on and off" in a smooth manner.

I found the ending, right after the big climax, to be especially beautiful, and I tried to bring out the "orchestral qualities" in the writing.

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!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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