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Fantasia on Plainsong Melody "Vexilla Regis" (for Palm Sunday)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/24/24)
Composer: Bainton, Edgar L.
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century / Mid 20th century
Today is Palm Sunday. This involved and dramatic work is based upon the Sarum plainsong hymn, "Vexilla Regis" - "The Royal banners forward go." It is the Office Hymn for Palm Sunday and for much of Holy Week.

Edgar Leslie Bainton (14 February 1880 – 8 December 1956) was a British-born, latterly Australian-resident composer. He was born in Hackney, London, and was awarded a music scholarship to King Henry VIII Grammar School in Coventry in 1891, and in 1896 he won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study theory with Walford Davies. In 1899 he received a scholarship to study composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. At college he became friends with George Dyson, William Harris and especially Rutland Boughton, whose friendship and support continued throughout Bainton's career.

In 1901 he became piano professor at the Newcastle upon Tyne Conservatory of Music and was involved in the local musical scene, composing, playing and conducting. In 1912 he became the Principal of the Conservatory in 1912.

In the summer of 1914 Bainton visited Germany to attend the Bayreuth Festival, but was arrested after war broke out.

The New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music offered him the directorship in the summer of 1933. He conducted the choral and orchestral classes at the Conservatorium, and founded the Opera School. He is most remembered today for his church music, but there is more than just the one famous anthem ("And I saw a new heaven") that deserves to be revived. As an organist Bainton had played before Queen Victoria while a student at the Royal College of Music, and upon retirement from the New South Wales Conservatorium, Sydney, took over temporarily as Organist/Director of Music at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, after the unexpected death of T.W. Beckett.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Edgar Bainton and one of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney.

Musical notes are given in the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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