This is the first book-length survey of 20th -century British music for solo organ. Beginning with a discussion of British organ music in the last decades of the Victorian era, the book focuses on the pieces that the composers wrote, their musical style, possible influences on the composition of specific works, and the details of their composition.
Arranged in chronological order according to date of birth are detailed studies on important composers that made especially significant contributions to organ music including Parry, Stanford, Healey Willan, Herbert Howells, Percy Whitlock, Francis Jackson, Peter Racine Fricker, Arthur Wills, and Kenneth Leighton. Composers' biographies, the role of organs and organ building developments, influential political and sociological events, and aesthetic aspects of British musical life are also discussed in detail. In the concluding chapter, the author discusses the major phases and achievements of the century and gauges what may lie ahead in the new millennium.
A comprehensive Catalog of Works provides titles of works, dates of composition, details of publishers, and the dates of publication. More than 60 music examples, 12 black and white photos, and an up-to-date bibliography are included.
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Peter Hardwick is Principal Organist and Choirmaster, Church of the Master, Toronto, Canada.Review:
Hardwick's timely survey offers an opinion on the relative virtues of the music in question and this is a welcome critique. (Classical Music)
What a welcome arrival...Hardwick is absolutely first-rate in this book and I bow the knee in admiration, awe, and wonder...He covers an incredible amount of music in a relatively short space...I urge you to buy the book, study it, and, above all, play the music that he writes about. (The American Organist)
A most welcome volume that fills a long-standing gap in the literature...if you are interested in British organ music and its development over the last 100 years and could only take one book to your desert island, then this would probably be it. (Church Music Quarterly Reviews)
Each chapter of this wisely conceived book contains gems of information and insights on composers and musical trends that reveal the author's close familiarity with his subject. This comprehensive survey will stand as a definitive work on the topic for many years to come... (The Diapason)
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