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.
He was a prolific composer, and a friend of W. T. Best, who inherited much of Best's music collection after the latter's death.
"Sonata No. 1 in G Major" is a large-scale concert work, but any of the movements could be used as individual recital numbers or church voluntaries. It is: "Dedicated to Henry Hudson, F.C.O., Organist of Holy Trinity Southport." Hudson (1853-1912) was well-known as an organist and choirmaster, and composed several organ works as well.
Originally published in 3 separate volumes of the "Organist's Quarterly Journal," the work was reissued complete by Novello. The sonata dates from 1887/1888.
The first movement, "Allegro moderato" is a bold and confident opening. It is the largest movement of the sonata, and the most difficult. The themes are fine, and the entire movement, particularly the second theme, has an "Elgarian swagger" to it.
The second movement, "Adagio con espressione" is a real gem. It has elements of a Mendelssohn song-without-words about it, and also reminded me of slow movements from early Beethoven piano sonatas. It's a fine and eloquent work, and can certainly stand alone if desired.
The third movement, "Fugue (Allegro moderato)" is an attractive and stirring conclusion to the entire work. It's quite conservative, and perhaps a bit academic, but the writing is good, and the effect, particularly the conclusion is excellent.
The score, courtesy of Dr. John Henderson, is attached below.
Also attached is a photo of Christ Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, where Driffield was organist, two photos of his grave in Merseyside, as well as some photos of Holy Trinity Church, Southport, where the dedicatee served as organist.
Please the FIRST COMMENT for individual timings and some personal notes.