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Voluntary in D Major (Twelve Voluntaries - Volume One, No. 6)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/06/20)
Composer: Russell, William
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Baroque into Classical
William Russell (6 October 1777 – 21 November 1813) was an English organist and composer.

He was the son of William Russell, an organ-builder, and was born in London on 6 October 1777. From age seven Russell was taught by the organists William Cope, William Shrubsole, and John Groombridge. Between 1789 and 1793 he was deputy to his father, who was organist to St. Mary's, Aldermanbury.

In 1793 he was appointed organist to the Great Queen Street chapel; cathedral services were performed there until 1798, when the chapel became a Wesleyan meeting-house. On 2 September 1798 he was elected organist at St. Anne's, Limehouse. In 1801 he was elected to a similar post at the Foundling Hospital. About the same time he resumed musical studies under Samuel Arnold.

In 1808 Russell graduated Mus. Bac. at Oxford. He died on 21 November 1813 at Cobham Row, Coldbath Fields, in Clerkenwell.

Russell's organ voluntaries were in suite form. He published Twelve Voluntaries for the Organ or Pianoforte (1807?), and a Second Book (1812).

"Voluntary in D Major is the fourth work of the first book. At first, I found this dull, but in the little time I spent with it, I grew to like it a lot!

It begins with a diapason prelude, "Adagio" which has more appeal each time you hear, at least to me. I suppose you like it or you don't! This is followed by the expressive "Siciliano," which is almost Mozrartean with its elaborate passages. It features a dialogue with the Swell oboe and the Choir cremona, which is a clarinet-like reed.

In this performance, I achieved these sounds with the oboe (of course) and the Solo cor anglais coupled the "nasal" lieblich gedacht of the Choir, and I think the effect is good.

Hereford is certainly not a "period instrument," but I think it gives a good representation of the sound, and excellent account of itself in this style of music.

The score is attached below, as well as two photos of St. Anne's, Limehouse, where Russell was appointed organist in 1798.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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