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A Shepherd's Song, Op. 36

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/29/20)
Composer: Hackett, Henry
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Henry Hackett (1872-1940) was an organist in Bearwood, Kenilworth, Bideford, Burton-on-Trent and West Bromwich, and was a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Hackett was a regular contributor to the journal, "The Organ Loft" series.

"A Shepherd's Song" was published by The Arthur P. Schmidt Co. in 1921. It is dedicated: "To my friend C. à Becket Williams Esq, Keble College, Oxford.

Christopher à Becket Williams (1890-1956) was a traveller, writer, novelist and composer, and was at the time of this publication organ scholar of Keble College, Oxford.

I received this score from John Henderson, and it's a very nice piece indeed.

It's tuneful, and has a good sense of motion to. If you play this, I'd guard against being too slow! I think Hackett's MM of 58 to the quarter is spot on.

I followed his registrations quite closely as far as the "solo sections," but I used a bit more organ in the central section. Like all pastorales, which is what this piece is, it begins and ends peacefully, but there's always a "little storm" in the middle, and that is the case here as well. Perhaps it depicts the shepherd, searching during the storm, for a lost lamb or sheep, finding it, and bringing it home safely. :-)

Hereford is a nice match for the music, although you'll have to "fiddle around" a bit to make it all balance. I wanted to add the 32' Open for the last note, but after listening to the playback, I'm sure it was best to leave it off. ;-)

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Henry Hackett. Also attached are some photos of Keble College, Oxford, where the dedicatee, Christopher à Becket Williams, was organ scholar.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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