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Cantilene in F Minor

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The Gió Riverside

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/04/23)
Composer: Wolstenholme, William
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
William Wolstenholme (1865-1931)was born in Blackburn, Lancashire. He was blind from birth and was was educated at the Worcester College for the Blind Sons of Gentlemen. He showed considerable promise as a musician and impressed Henry Smart who agreed to take him as a pupil. Alas, Smart died before lessons began. He studied the violin under Edward Elgar. In 1887 he went up to Oxford University where he later graduated as a Bachelor of Music.

In 1888 he was appointed organist and choirmaster of St Paul’s Church, Blackburn and began to consolidate his position as a teacher, recitalist and improviser. Fourteen years later he accepted the post of organist at All Saint’s Church Norfolk Square, Paddington and afterwards at All Saints, St. John’s Wood. In 1908 he undertook a major concert tour of the United States.

Stylistically, he has been referred to as the ‘English Cesar Franck’ and although this may be unfair to both composers it is a reasonable rule of thumb and gives the listener a good idea of the kind and quality of music to expect. It is also possible that he can be bracketed with Alfred Hollins and Basil Harwood.

"Cantilene in F Minor" shows the composer at his suave and elegant best.

Essentially in A-B-A form with a short coda, the work features an enticing melody played upon the orchestral oboe of the Solo before passing briefly to the clarinet. There is a small buildup played upon the softer diapasons before the oboe theme returns.

The central section is played upon the Swell strings, and then the diapasons, which leads back to the opening material.

There is a brief coda which settles calmly in the key of F major.

My hearing and life struggle from day to day. I'm recording when I can.

The score, kindly sent by my friend and our member "Dabchurch", is attached below. MANY THANKS for caring, David. In addition, there are some photos of Wolstenholme, his family home, and several of the churches at which he served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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