Arthur Milner (1894-1972) was a Newcastle based teacher, performer and composer. He was an FTCL (piano), ARCM (piano) and ARCO. He held a Durham D.Mus by examination. He had been Director of Music at Newcastle Royal Grammar School for 22 years, whilst in his younger years had been organist at St. George's, Jesmond, which had a fine 4 manual Lewis organ. He was quietly spoken, a perfect gentleman and an excellent teacher.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s he had a goodly number of organ pieces, probably getting on for 20, published mainly by Novello and Ashdown.
"Solemn Prelude" was composed in 1964, and is dedicated to the British / Canadian organist Graham Steed (1913-1999).
The work, which is marked "Solennemente" is like the title implies, a solemn piece that begins softly, reaches a strong climax, then melts away to a hushed ending. There are some strong "Howells-like" traits to it, but it IS different, as you will hear.
Last night, I was reading about the works on the Great Cathedral Organ Series, and I saw one by Arthur Milner. This made me think and remember that I had a piece by him, but I had never done it, since I didn't like it based on the one time I had read through it...
This quickly changed when I took another look, and I think it's a great piece! I was able to get this ready to post, and am now looking for any and all other works by the composer. Fortunately, quite a few of his works are still available.
This piece, while it never reaches full organ, doesn't use the Solo Tuba or 32' Bombarde is still very powerful.
I had originally intended to do it on Salisbury. but since I know that quite a few people have or are considering getting the Hereford set, I thought it might be more interesting and "helpful" if I did it there.
Does anyone else know other works by this seemingly excellent composer?!?