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"Martyrs" (Three Psalm Tune Postludes, No. 1)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/14/19)
Composer: Grace, Harvey
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Harvey Grace (1874–1944) was an English organist and music writer. He was a chorister at Romsey Abbey, studied under Madeley Richardson at Southwark Cathedral, and became Organist of St. Mary Magdelene, Munster Square, London. He was editor of The Musical Times and a noted author and adjudicator. He was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral from 1931 until 1937. His years at Chichester coincided with a new awareness of liturgical solemnity; plainsong was used regularly at some of the weekday services from May 1936. Grace was appointed Commissioner of the School of English Church Music in 1937, and resigned at the end of the year. He joined the staff of Trinity College of Music in 1939, and also acted as Organist of East Grinstead Parish Church during World War II.

"Three Psalm Tune Postludes" were published by Novello @ 1920. These are probably before Grace's time at Chichester, and are dedicated: "To Geoffrey Shaw."

Geoffrey Turton Shaw (1879-1943) was an an organ scholar at Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar. He then became a schoolmaster, then a schools inspector, while producing a stream of compositions, arrangements, and published collections of music. He was awarded the Lambeth degree of Doctor of Music.

Based upon the 1615 tune "Martyrs" from the Scottish Psalter, Grace's setting is to be played "With rough vigour," and that's the way I played it!

Grace gives the option of "adding sharps" to make the tune less severely Dorian, but I've kept in modal all the way. The sound and approach is grandiose and majestic, especially the final page with the heavily massive chords, and wide-spread (2 octaves) double pedal.

I dedicate this to my good friend, Leon Green - since he is "a little bit" Scottish! THANKS, Leon. :-)

The score and photos are attached.

If you like this and the following upload, you may want to hear the 3rd postlude on "Old Hundredth" here:
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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