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An Idyll

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/18/20)
Composer: Richards, Henry William
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Henry William Richards (1865-1956), Mus. Doc. Dunelm (University of Durham) was organist of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate from 1886 until 1921 and a well known recitalist.

He published a book on choir training (presumably the training of boys' voices), was a member of the Royal College of Organist's Council, and was a director of the Philharmonic Society. From 1924 he was Warden of the Royal College of Music.

His few compositions include the piece presented here, as well as a number of anthems.

"An Idyll" was published by The Vincent Music Co. Ltd. in 1908 as "No. 154" in their "The Organ Loft" series. It is dedicated: "to C. Warwick Jordan Esq: Mus. Doc."

This work is the 2nd of 3 in Vol. 51 of "The Organ Loft." Hopefully, tomorrow, I can do and upload the 3rd.) :-)

Charles Warwick Jordan (1841-1909) was a chorister at both Bristol and St. Paul's Cathedral and was educated at Oxford (BMus 1869), and received the Lambeth degree of Doctor of Music in 1886. He was a champion of plainsong, honorary organist of the London Gregorian Association, and held several prestigious church positions. Sadly, he died by his own hand on August 30, 1909.

At first look, this piece looked "quite a nothing," but in reality, it's quite a something!

It's a miniature tone poem with all the usual pastorale elements, but the material, both melodic and harmonic is quite fresh, and the wide range of dynamics is impressive.

I could not help but feel that there was more than hint of Elgar in the main theme, which appears after the first few chords and then returns at the end. The whole thing "hangs together" well, although it's fussy, and you'll need to be on top of your piston-pushing to make this all work!

The score is attached below, as well as two old photos of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate. I guess they didn't take good care of their building and it was condemned about 50 years ago. Now, only the famous steeple remains as part of some high price apartments. :-(
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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