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Galarnad (Lamentations)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (02/09/22)
Composer: James, Philip
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
Philip Frederick Wright James (May 17, 1890 – November 1, 1975) was an American composer, conductor and music educator.

James was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. At an early age he began piano, violin and theory lessons, and served as choirboy in several New Jersey churches. From 1904 to 1909 he studied organ with J. Warren Andrews and in 1907 began advanced harmony and counterpoint lessons with Homer Norris. He also studied composition with, as well as organ with Joseph Bonnet and Alexandre Guilmant in Paris.

In World War I James played in and subsequently became bandleader of the American Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Band.

In 1922 he co-founded and became the first conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and in 1923, began a long teaching career at New York University, serving as head of the music department from 1934-1956.

Though he remained active as a composer until his death in 1975, James' larger-scale compositions were infrequently played after the mid-twentieth century. However several of his early sacred compositions, including "Meditation a Ste. Clotilde" for organ and the anthem "By the Waters of Babylon" remain in the sacred repertoire.

"Galarnad" was published by H. W. Gray Co. in 1949, as part of "The Modern Anthology" (Part One). It is dedicated: "For Millicent." She was the first wife of Philip James, so, this must surely be in her memory.

In the introduction of the book we read: "In this lordly 'Galarnad', Philip James takes us back to his Druidic roots, and we are content to sit for a time under the great oaks with him."

I've never heard it played, and it is a true brain-buster - an intense, grand, not "pretty," powerful, heart-wrenching essay. It is very very complex. It left me feeling drained, pleased that I was able to do it, but also uneasy, as it never settles or ends.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Philip James, one of Millicent , and some of St. John's Church in Jersey City are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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