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Prelude on "Nicaea" (Holy, Holy, Holy)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/12/22)
Composer: Willan, Healey
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
Today is Trinity Sunday. One of the most famous and beloved hymns for this day is the tune "Nicaea" combined with the text, "Holy, Holy, Holy!".

This setting by Healey Willan is calm and dignified with an expressive, confident flow.

Healey Willan (1880-1968) made a significant and lasting contribution to music for the church and organ. One work stands out: the monumental "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" of 1916. The Preludes and Fugues in C minor and B minor and the "Epilogue" are the other major works from this period.

Born in England, Willan became organist-choirmaster of Toronto's largest church, St. Paul's, Bloor Street, but it was his royalties as a composer which allowed him to leave "low church" St. Paul's in 1921 and to become Precentor of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto).

"Prelude on "Nicaea'" is the the seventh work in "36 Short Preludes and Postludes on Well-Known Hymn Tunes, Set I," and based upon the well-known tune, which was composed by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876).

At the age of ten he became the organist of St. John's in Hull, where his grandfather was vicar. After receiving a classics degree from St. Catherine College, Cambridge, England, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. In 1849 he became the precentor and choir director at Durham Cathedral, where he introduced reforms in the choir by insisting on consistent attendance, increasing rehearsals, and initiating music festivals. He served the parish of St. Oswald in Durham from 1862 until the year of his death.

The text was written by Bishop Reginald Heber (1783-1826). It is always linked with Dykes' tune, and is one of the great classics for worship on Trinity Sunday.

This work already appears here in a fine performance by my good friend and esteemed collaborative partner, Erzahler, and so, I dedicate this upload to you, Andrew!

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Healey Willan, John Bacchus Dykes and Bishop Reginald Heber.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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