James Lyon (1872-1949) was, born in Manchester and was almost entirely self taught. He went however to Oxford and became a Mus Doc of that university in 1905.
He himself later taught at Bantock's Birmingham and Midland Institute and also at St Michael's College Tenbury, King Edward's School, Warwick and Trinity College London. He examined and adjudicated widely. He died in Australia on 25 August 1949.
His music was described as "Neo-Romantic" in style and he certainly had a taste for writing dramatic music, his output including four operas but was quite prolific as a writer of orchestral works, including a symphony and four suites. In addition, there a number of significant chamber works.
The organ attracted him particularly and he wrote for it three sonatas, two suites and individual movements with titles like Alla Marcia, Berceuse, Dominus Regnavit, Festival March, a Minuet and Trio and a Prelude in D Flat. Of this repertoire, the first Sonata, in C minor, which Percy Whitlock included in his recitals, is considered his best of these.
"Melody in B-flat" was published by E. Donajowski in 1905. It is dedicated: "To my friend Dr. W.B. Brierley."
It is surely of the "Town Hall" type of piece that was so popular during the time it was written. It is of the neo-Romantic idiom that was mentioned earlier.
The form is essentially A-B-A, with an extended lyrical melody in the first section, fixed firmly around the key of B-flat. The central section passes to F-sharp major, and is a bit quicker and with a fuller sound. The lyrical melody returns, although the material is somewhat shortened to make room for a brief "codetta" marked to be played with an "accelerando." The work ends with a plagal cadence, and of course, I could not restrain myself from adding the 32' Open for the final note. :-)
This piece required a "solution" to make the registration work, so, let's see if any Hereford owners can detect what I did. ;-)
The score is attached below.