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Meditation on the Name of Bach

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (11/23/21)
Composer: Brewer, A. Herbert
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Sir Alfred Herbert Brewer (1865-1928) was the great Victorian organist of Gloucester cathedral (1897-1928).

A local musical monarch, he was a firm disciplinarian with choristers, lay clerks, and assistant organists. It was said to have been a "bad day" if he played a wrong note! His early musical training was as a chorister at Gloucester and then as a pupil of C. H. Lloyd. Apart from his music, he lead an active public life, being appointed City High Sheriff in 1922, and was knighted in 1926. As a composer, Brewer was fairly conservative. His output includes church music of all types, cantatas, songs, instrumental works, and orchestral music. His "Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in D major" is in the standard repertoire of Anglican church music. An organ work, "Marche Héroïque," is a grand piece, and one of the best of its type.

"Meditation on the Name of BACH" was published by Augener Ltd. in 1916. Of course, like many other works, it makes use of the notes forming the name of Bach - B-flat, A, C, and B natural. It is a relatively small work, but Brewer is creative in his writing, and gives the listener some exquisite late romantic harmonic moments.

Despite the fact that the piece is marked "Larghetto," there is an urgency that seems to be built into the work. So, without really intending to do so, I did "accelerate" slightly as the work comes towards its climax, although only a small one.

Brewer didn't write all that much music for solo organ, but miniatures such as this one show him to be an accomplished writer.

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of A. Herbert Brewer, his memorial plaque in Gloucester Cathedral, and some of the magnificent cathedral itself.

I'll be uploading Brewer's very Elgarian "A Thanksgiving Processional" on Thursday in commemoration of our American holiday of Thanksgiving Day.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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