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Andante tranquillo (Twelve Miniatures, No. 6)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/13/22)
Composer: Higgs, Henry Marcellus
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Henry Marcellus Higgs (1854-1929) was the son of Marcellus Higgs (1827-1897) and Clara Tomlin. His father, also an organist, published no organ music.

H. M. Higgs worked with several music publishers and published a fairly large output of organ music. I have no indication of any places at which he served as organist, but he clearly knew how to write for the instrument.

Unfortunately, this is all the biographical information that I have about Henry Higgs.

"Twelve Miniatures" dates from 1913 and was published by Novello & Co. Ltd. The set was part of the publisher's "Original Compositions for the Organ (New Series)," where it appears as No. 27. It is dedicated: "To A. Healey Foster, Esq." Each piece is different in style and format, and some could be called "studies" as they deal with a particular technical aspect of organ playing.

The sixth piece, "Andante tranquillo" is in the key of E major, and written in 2/4 time. It features the main theme played in the right hand, played here upon the Solo Concert Flute against an oscillating series of figurations, using the Swell strings and flute.

I would say that this piece is really a "Barcarolle" . This is a musical genre associated indelibly with boat travel, its intent was to musically represent the gentle rocking of a boat in water. It has slightly irregular rhythms of water lapping against a dinghy or boat of a lighter kind creating a movement which was slightly erratic.

I've played a number of barcarolles that are larger or more involved by other composers, but this one really does evoke the gentle motion of a small boat being gently carried along. Everything here is full of smiles and peace, and the warm key of E really completes the effect. :-)

I have no photos of Henry Marcellus Higgs to share, but the score is attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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