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Allegretto (Twelve Melodious Pieces, Op. 26, No. 8)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/15/20)
Composer: Driffield, E. Townshend
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Description:
Edward Townshend Driffield was born in Prescot, near Liverpool, on December 10, 1851, and died at Ormskirk on Nov. 15th, 1925.

He was organist of Christ Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, and a solicitor in Tranmere.

"Twelve Melodious Pieces" were published by E. Donajowski, London, and are inscribed to him. They are solid, well-written, conservative pieces. While they are not "ground breakers" in anyway, they do have variety and color, and show the organ in a way that simply put, sounds good!

The quality varies throughout, but all of them, at least as far as I've gone, are solid, and some are very effective. I'll plan to do the whole set of twelve, uploading them in groups of three.

"Allegretto" is the eighth work in the collection and is one of the loveliest of the lot. In the key of G major, it is written in a flowing 5/4, and that "unusual" feel is successfully maintained throughout the work.

There is the element of the "English organ pastorale" here to be sure, but the flow of the lines and 5 to the bar made me think more of a barcarolle, somewhat in the style of composers like William Faulkes.

All of these pieces, while definitely "of the period" show invention and strong harmony. The effect may not please the tastes of all, but the music is far from idol or sugary, even though it may be a bit "obvious" in the direction and outcome of most of the pieces.

The score (cleaned up version), courtesy of Dr. John Henderson, is attached below.

Also attached is a photo of Christ Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, where Driffield was organist. I have no photos of him, but I did find one of his grave, which is in St. Luke's Churchyard, Formby, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside.

Since I already did the sixth of these, "Cantilène, Op. 26, No. 6," I won't repeat it, but you can find it here:

https://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/38738
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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