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Pastoral Sketch (Three Pastoral Pieces, No. 3)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/09/22)
Composer: Phillips, Gordon
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: 20th century
(Charles) Gordon Phillips (1908-1991) was born in Slough, the son of a Baptist minister. He grew up in Nottinghamshire and trained as a teacher at the Nottingham University. He was passionately fond of the organ and from his teenage years dedicated his energies to passing professional examinations and writing for the instrument. As a composer, several solo works were accepted for publication before he had completed his higher education. He was a student of Ernest Bullock and John Ireland, and was a frequent recitalist in and around London. Following the war, his attention turned towards the editing of lost treasures of English organ music and the design of a new organ for his church, All Hallows, Barking, which stands by the Tower of London. Over the succeeding years, he went on to give more than 3,000 recitals upon the Harrison and Harrison organ there. As an editor, he is well-known for his important series, "Tallis to Wesley." As a composer, his works contain an astringency which can be bracing, even rather harsh at times.

""Pastoral Sketch" is a fine conclusion to the set, and I think it's my favorite of the set. Published by Oxford University Press, it is dedicated: "To Harold Fairbairn."

A calm opening is rudely interrupted by five discordant notes on the clarinet. Calm is restored and after a melodic solo, the clarinet enters as if it now knows which notes to play. A tonic pedal prepares us for the final cadence. A rough rustic interpretation of the pastoral scene. The piece is dated February 1937.

I really enjoyed this one, and I guess I recorded it 10-15 times, trying to get "the one" that I wanted. There are so many details, and you can ruin it by "tying too hard," and trying to be expressive. I found it to be sweet, understated and very satisfying.

These performances are dedicated to "Dabchurch" with appreciation and friendship!

Several photos of Gordon Phillips, Lloyd Webber, and some of the Church of All Hallows by the Tower are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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