Charles William Pearce (1856-1928) was born in Salisbury, and was a chorister at St. Martin's Church there. He was a pupil of W. S. Hoyte (All Saint's Church, Margaret St., London) and of the famous E. J. Hopkins (Temple Church, London), and received his doctorate from Cambridge in 1884.
He was organist of St. Clement's, Eastcheap, London, and was professor of harmony, counterpoint and composition at Trinity College in London. He was an active member of the Royal College of Organists, and later became Dean of Trinity College and Honorary Treasurer to the London Section of the Incorporated Guild of Church Musicians.
This work dates from 1885, the year after Pearce received his doctorate from Cambridge. It is a large-scaled fantasia, inspired by the great text, "Corde natus ex Parentis" (Of the Father's heart begotten), and based upon the beloved melody, "Divinum mysterium".
The arresting opening will take you through some intense sections, all of them dramatic and technically difficult. The colors and notes fly by as if you are trapped in a great storm, and you'll have to go some distance before the tune fully manifests itself. Perhaps this "storm" is intended to signify the chaos at the World's Creation.
Even when it does, the respite is short, and the storm returns, leading to an even greater agitation.
Finally the tune appears ("This is He whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord", )set in a "versicle and response" format. This begins the final grand buildup, and before the end, we hear the hymn played upon the Solo tuba ("Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving"), with fast figurations in the right hand. This brings us to the concluding and overwhelming "Canon 4 in 2 infinite", intending to set the words "Ever and for evermore."
The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Charles Pearce, and some of the church where he played.
The introduction on the score, as well as the first verse of the hymn are given in the First Comment.