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Solemn Melody

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Uploaded by: mcr (09/21/22)
Composer: Walford Davies, Henry
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk VII
Genre: Romantic
Description:
Henry Walford Davies (1869–1941) had a distinguished career as an organist, church musician, and broadcaster with the BBC. A student of the Royal College of Music, he succeeded Elgar as Master of the King's Music in 1934, a post he held until his death in 1941, serving three monarchs including Queen Elizabeth II's father, George VI. Walford Davies is perhaps best known as the organist at the Temple Church in London where he maintained the musical excellence which had been re-established by his predecessor E. J. Hopkins.

Walford Davies composed very little for the organ, his most famous piece, Solemn Melody (published in 1910), originally scored for strings and organ. Legend has it that his Solemn Melody was the inspiration for his successor's Elegy, which George Thalben-Ball improvised to fill in time at the end of a BBC broadcast from the Temple Church during WWII. That piece has another royal connection, having been played at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

Given its royal connections, it is perhaps entirely fitting that this piece was recorded during a time of National Mourning following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For those of us the in UK, regardless of our opinion on the monarchy, there can be little doubt that our Queen has touched the lives of many millions of people globally and her life of service to humankind and to Almighty God is an example to us all.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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