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Festive Postlude

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/21/20)
Composer: Dixon, J. H. Reginald
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
Description:
(James Hugh) Reginald Dixon (1886-1975) was City Organist in Lancaster, as well as organist of St. Peter's Cathedral (Roman Catholic) in Lancaster for some sixty years.

In 1956 he received an award from the Vatican for his services to church music.

He composed a number of organ works, liturgical compositions and three light operas.

He is NOT the famous theater organist, Reginald Dixon, Organist of Blackpool Tower Ballroom! :-)

"Festive Postlude" was published by Hinrichsen in 1962. It is dedicated: "To Dr. Francis A. Jackson."

Francis Jackson (b. 1917) is one of the leading figures of British organ music from the 1950's until recently. He is still alive at the age of 103!

For many years he was Master of the Music at York Minster, a major recitalist, recording artist, and an important composer.

This imposing piece immediately reminded me of the opening movement of Widor's "Symphonie Gothique," as it seems to present an impression of a massive church, mostly hidden by a thick morning fog. You know it's there, and you know it's big, but it's only when you see it, that you comprehend its vastness.

A powerful, somewhat stern opening section reaches quite a powerful climax before relaxing somewhat in a more quiet and mystical central section. This leads into a vigorous and well-written fugue, which is, sadly, quite short. The dynamics increase as the piece works up to a full climax, with the pedal playing in octaves and the tempo accelerating. Final, massive chords bring massive chords in the right hand with punctuating ones in the left, played upon the Solo tuba.

There is a brief "prestissimo" cadenza which is exciting and effective, although it doesn't really seem to belong at the end of this piece.

Attached below are photos of Reginald Dixon, of his gravestone, and several of St. Peter's Cathedral, Lancaster, one of Francis Jackson rehearsing the boys of York around the time this was written, and one of the mighty organ of York Minster .
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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