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Adagio non Troppo (Two Movements for the Organ, No. 1)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/06/19)
Composer: Stephens, Charles Edward
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Charles Edward Stephens (1821–1892) was
nephew to Catherine Stephens, countess of Essex. He studied the pianoforte and violin under J. M. Rost, Cipriani Potter, F. Smith, and H. Blagrove, and theory under James Alexander Hamilton. After the completion of his school career, he was organist successively to St. Mark's, Myddelton Square; Holy Trinity, Paddington; St. John's, Hampstead; St. Clement Danes and St. Saviour's, Paddington. The last-named post he resigned in 1875. Stephens was a fellow or member of most of the English musical institutions, an original member of the Musical Association in 1874 and treasurer of the Philharmonic in 1880, and of the South-Eastern Section of the National Society of Professional Musicians. He was considered to be an accomplished musician, a good teacher, an excellent pianist, and in his younger days a capable violinist. His compositions, which are numerous, include a symphony in G minor, played at the Philharmonic in 1891, and a quantity of pianoforte and chamber music. In 1880 Stephens gained both the first and second prizes for string quartets offered by Trinity College, London. He was a clever speaker and writer, as his papers read before the Musical Association bear witness.

"Two Movements for the Organ" were published by Augener, and "Composed and Dedicated to Miss Longman." Stephens signs himself as "Organist of Hampstead Parish Church," so, these would relatively late works.

"Adagio non Troppo" is a dramatic work, which really harkens back to the third movement of Mendelssohn's "First Sonata."

It is perhaps a little "too severely classical," but it is still nice to listen to, particularly in the middle section, with it's fine melody and strong harmonies.

The score is attached below. I could find no photos or drawings of Stephens, but I did attach photos of several churches at which he served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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