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Canzona (13 Original Compositions No. 04)

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ISO "ImproWachetAuf"

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/20/20)
Composer: Blair, Hugh
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
For those of you who like British organ music of the recent past Erzahler and I are uploading these 13 short pieces. Composed around 1909 they vary a bit in their complexity and demands on the player and were dedicated to Mrs E Grose Hodge, Holy Trinity Rectory, Marlebone, London.

Hugh Blair (25 May 1864 – 22 July 1932) was an English musician, composer and organist. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Rev. Robert Hugh Blair, who founded Worcester College for the Blind in 1866. A chorister at Worcester Cathedral and a pupil at The King's School, Worcester, Blair was organ scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. 1886, Mus.B. 1887, M.A. 1896 and Mus.D. 1906.

He was Organist of Worcester Cathedral from 1895 to 1897, having been Acting Organist before that time. Edward Elgar dedicated his cantata "The Black Knight" to Blair, who was conductor of the Worcester Festival Choral Society.

Worcester Cathedral Library contains copies of Blair's compositions, and his splendid Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor for double choir is in the repertoire of every cathedral choir, and is still often performed and recorded.

I found many interesting things at Rousseau Media Music:

There you can read more about Hugh Blair and his troubled life.

The fourth piece in the set is "Canzona." This is a bit odd for a choice of title, as it's one of those "Town Hall Types," with nothing even remotely similar to the older style canzonas.

The main solo voice heard is the Solo Orchestral Oboe with tremulant. It's sweet, pungent voice is perfect for this, and the Peterborough Hill is an outstanding instrument for this work, which is lyrical, melodic, and more than slightly reminiscent of the works of Blair's friend, Edward Elgar.

The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Hugh Blair, one of Worcester Cathedral, and two of Holy Trinity, Marylebone (no longer a church), where Blair was organist when he composed these fine pieces.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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