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Legend, Op. 16

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/15/19)
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.

"Legend" was published by Novello in 1913 by Novello. It is dedicated: "To W. A. Roberts, Esq., St. Paul's, Princes Park, Liverpool."

A review from the a period publication, "The New Music Review" states that: "has the rare value of being original without affectation or eccentricity.

The piece is indeed unusual, as it has a number of contrasting moods and ideas in a relatively short musical space. There are moments of great tenderness and simplicity, as well as more "martial segments," grand climaxes, and an extended, haunting meltdown at the end.

Never having heard the piece, I'm guessing at the extreme varieties in tempos. It may start "semplice," but rather quickly arrives at a daunting "feroce"!

I enjoy this kind of piece, but I think the extreme registrational changes, which must be made WHILE playing intense chromatics, will make the piece difficult to bring off successfully. This is one of the reasons I feel that these pieces have fallen into the forgotten past.

It's not a "way" that most modern organists play...

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Grace, the original review, and photos of the now demolished (in 1975) St. Paul's, Princes Park.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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