William Faulkes (1863-1933), composer,
organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organizer. Remarkably, for a composer so fluent and prolific, Faulkes was consistently omitted from the major dictionaries of music. From time to time, he is found in smaller more specific dictionaries at times, and is sometimes described as a leader of the modern English school of organ playing; or a leading composer of the English romantic school of organ playing.
Born in Liverpool, at the age of 10 became a chorister at St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, which was the largest brick church in England, and had the largest organ in Liverpool. At the age of 18, he was appointed organist of St. John's, Tue Brook, and five years later returned to St. Margaret's. He had a fine all-male (all volunteer) choir, and the level of musical excellence at the church was significant. As an organist, he was a brilliant performer, and earned the admiration of the leading British organist of the time, W. T. Best.
"Nocturne, Op. 142, No. 1" is written in D major, and was published by G. Schirmer in 1910. It is a late romantic masterpiece, and a substantial work. The work is dedicated: "To J. Warren Andrews, Esq., New York".
The opening section presents the main theme, played upon the Swell Hautboy, and then in another key featuring the Solo Flute Harmonique. This leads into a modern agitated middle section, playing off shades of darkness and light. This sections leads to a brief and expressive cadenze, which flows into the final section. This section features the main theme again, this time playing chordally on the Swell Vox Humana, while the Great Stopped Diapason plays floating 16th notes arabesques above the melody. The melt down is exquisite, and one of Faulkes best in this form.
Score is attached below, plus photos of Faulkes, St. Margaret's, Anfield, and one of J. Warren Andrews (see First Comment) and some of one of the NYC churches he served.