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Andante Tranquillo (Five Short Pieces)

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Uploaded by: Silchester (10/04/21)
Composer: Whitlock, Percy
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: The Armley Schulze
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Description:
Percy (William) Whitlock was born on 1 June 1903 in Chatham, Kent (UK). He was a distinguished organist and post-romantic composer. Whitlock studied at London's Royal College of Music with Charles Villiers Stanford and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

From 1921-1930, Whitlock was assistant organist at Rochester Cathedral in Kent. The then cathedral organ was an instrument built by J W Walker & Sons and dating from 1905.

PWW served as Director of Music at St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth (an Anglo-Catholic parish) for the next five years, combining this from 1932 with the role of that town's borough organist, in which capacity he regularly played the Compton organ at the local Pavilion Theatre. From 1935, he worked for the Pavilion Theatre full-time.

Whitlock was often sought out as a recitalist. Despite the considerable number of recitals he performed, he declined to give many more.

A tireless railway enthusiast, he wrote at length and with skill about his interest. Sometimes, for both prose and music, he used the pseudonym "Kenneth Lark”.

He worked closely with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra; the orchestra's conductor from 1935-1940 was Richard Austin, whose father Frederic Austin dedicated his Organ Sonata to Whitlock.

PWW was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1928. Near the end of his life, he lost his sight altogether, possibly as a result of his diabetes, and he died in Bournemouth a few weeks before his 43rd birthday, on 1 May, 1946.

For decades afterwards he remained largely forgotten. This neglect has eased in recent times with a new-found appreciation of his work.

Andante Tranquillo is the third piece from Five Short Pieces of 1929, which were first performed by the composer in Rochester Cathedral in June 1930, just before the end of his ten-year tenure as Assistant Organist. This piece was meant as a token of friendship for Violet Kathleen Bannister (b 1908), a Chatham musician who had deputised for PWW during his absence from St Mary’s Church in 1928.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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