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|Disk Title||The Organ of Guildford Cathedral|
|Organists : Katherine Dienes-Williams and David Davies|
Organists : Katherine Dienes-Williams and David Davies
The suggestion that George Frideric Handel’s orchestral suite The Water Music was written in 1715 to return the composer to the graces of King George I – Handel having blotted his copy book when the sovereign was previously Elector of Hanover – is most likely apocryphal. Certainly a royal, aquatic entourage made its way up the Thames on July 17, 1717, and Handel provided the occasional music for that journey. The suite of movements that has come down to us in the form of The Water Music is one of Handel’s best- known works, and the Hornpipe is heard frequently at joyous events. A dance form which has its roots in the English Renaissance, the Baroque hornpipe form in stately, heavy 3/2 time was established by the 17th and 18th centuries, and only later became associated with the duple time version characterised by a solo sailor’s dance, arms folded and legs akimbo. (A typical and popular tune written in this later genre is heard at the famous Last Night of the Proms.)
Lending itself particularly well to being transcribed for the organ, Handel’s Hornpipe is heard on this recording in the arrangement by Osborne Harold Peasgood (1902 – 1962) who was associated with Westminster Abbey, both as sub organist and as acting organist. He is also reputed to have been admonished for playing the abbey organ too energetically, one consequence of which was to agitate unduly the delicate sensibilities of the choristers.
Percy Whitlock’s short life (he died at the age of 42 in 1946) produced works which have become an important part of the legacy of English interwar music. A talented composer and performer, equally at home in the organ loft of Rochester Cathedral (where he was assistant organist from 1912-1930) and at the console of the theatre organ at the Municipal Pavilion, Bournemouth, Whitlock’s gifts ranged from creating miniatures (such as the Folk Tune presented on this recording), to the monumental Symphony in G minor, an arguably too-rarely heard work. His compositions for the Anglican liturgy also represent some fine examples in the genre, and his unique harmonic language and melodic craft often looked forward stylistically, while paying homage to an Edwardian heritage.
||03:36||Hornpipe||G F Handel|
||03:39||At the Ballet||Calvin Hampton|
||03:23||Toccata in D min||Max Reger|
||06:36||Psalm-Prelude I Op.32 No.1||Herbert Howells|
||04:54||Hymne au soleil||Louis Vierne|
||03:47||Folk Tune||Percy Whitlock|
||07:09||Prelude & Fugue in B||Camille Saint-Saëns|
||03:21||Nunc Dimittis||Charles Wood|
||02:13||Bist du bei mir||J S Bach|
||04:37||Sortie in E flat major||Louis J A Lefébure-Wély|
||03:21||Trumpet Tune in A||David N Johnson|
||04:40||Sinfonia from Cantata no.29||J S Bach|
David Davies is the recently-appointed Assistant Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral. Originally a native of Snowdonia in North Wales, David was educated at Eton College, Magdalen College, Oxford and Yale University. He has worked in church music on both sides of the Atlantic, living in the USA for five years, and as Director of the Girls’ Choir and Sub Organist at Guildford Cathedral for six years.
David studied with John Wellingham, Nicolas Kynaston, Martin Jean and Thomas Murray, and has given recitals in South Africa, Japan, North America and several countries in Europe. In the UK he has performed at Westminster Abbey and the Royal Festival Hall; he has appeared on radio and television broadcasts, was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, performed on the soundtrack of Richard Attenborough’s movie Shadowlands, and appeared, alongside the boy choristers of Guildford Cathedral, as the choirmaster in the recently released movie St Trinian’s 2. During his time at Guildford Cathedral David fulfilled the role of Diocesan Music Advisor, and was adjunct lecturer in harmony at the University of Surrey. He directed the Surrey Festival Choir (founded by Ralph Vaughan Williams) for three years, and toured with the girls’ choir of the cathedral to France and Italy, in addition to releasing three compact disc recordings with them.
Katherine Dienes-Williams, MA, BMus, FRCO, Hon. ARSCM, Hon. GCM was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral in January 2008 following six years as Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Warwick. She was the first-ever female member to be elected to the Cathedral Organists’ Association, and on her appointment to Guildford, became the first ever woman to hold such a post in the Church of England.
Katherine was born and educated in Wellington, New Zealand and studied for a BA in Modern Languages and a BMus at Victoria University, Wellington. Katherine was Organ Scholar at Wellington Cathedral from 1988 to 1991 when she was appointed Assistant Organist there.