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The Organ of Guildford Cathedral Organists : Katherine Dienes-Williams and David Davies The suggestion that George Frideric Handels 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 Handels 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 sailors 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, Handels 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 Whitlocks 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, Whitlocks 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.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.
|1||03:36||Hornpipe||G. F, Handel|
|2||03:39||At the Ballet||Calvin Hampton|
|3||03:23||Toccata in D min||Max Reger|
|4||06:36||Psalm-Prelude I Op.32 No.1||Herbert Howells|
|6||04:54||Hymne au soleil||Louis Vierne|
|7||03:47||Folk Tune||Percy Whitlock|
|8||07:09||Prelude and Fugue in B||Camille Saint-Saens|
|9||03:21||Nunc Dimittis||Charles Wood|
|10||02:13||Bist du bei mir||J. S. Bach|
|11||04:37||Sortie in E flat major||Louis J. A. Lefebure-Wely|
|13||03:21||Trumpet Tune in A||David N. Johnson|
|15||04:40||Sinfonia from Cantata no.29||J. S. Bach|