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Postlude - Christmas (Good King Wenceslas)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/25/22)
Composer: Garrett, George Mursell
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
George Mursell Garrett (8 June 1834 – 8 April 1897) was an English organist and composer.

He was born in Winchester where his father was master of the choristers at Winchester Cathedral. He later served as assistant to Samuel Sebastian Wesley at Winchester.
Garrett was appointed the Director of Music at St. John's College, Cambridge in 1857 and held the position for forty years.

Garrett wrote music for the Anglican Church in the form of service settings and anthems. He is perhaps best represented today by several Anglican chants that remain in wide use today.

Postlude (Christmas) was published by Novello as No. 3 in its "Original Compositions for the Organ" series.

The piece is on quite a grand scale, consisting of rapid toccata-like passages interspersed with the main theme of the work, the carol, "Good King Wenceslas."

"Good King Wenceslas" is a Christmas carol that tells a story of a Bohemian king who goes on a journey, braving harsh winter weather, to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (December 26, the Second Day of Christmas). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by following the king's footprints, step for step, through the deep snow. The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907–935).

In 1853, English hymnwriter John Mason Neale translated the lyric from a Czech poem in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore, and the carol first appeared in Carols for Christmas-Tide, published by Novello & Co. Neale's lyric was set to the melody of the 13th-century spring carol "Tempus adest floridum" ("Eastertime Is Come") first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection "Piae Cantiones."

There follows an extended fugue, and a grand statement of the them at the conclusion.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of George Garrett, and an illustration of King Wenceslas.

Merry Christmas to All!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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