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Luxuriant Adagio


Martin Cooke
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Some luxuriant adagios 'fell off my shelf' yesterday in the form of 'The Fagus Collection of Edwardian Preludes.'  I think this is a new collection from earlier this year but a number of thirteen, two page, pieces within, by Alcock , Myles B Foster, John E West, Hollins and William Wolstenholme etc fit the description. I'm sure these and others like them are freely available in IMSLP, but I do feel that Fagus has drawn together a really good selection. I've come to realise that anything by John E West is worth a second glance and I played his Easter Morn on Easter Day this. David Hill has recently recorded one of his Passacaglias.  Anyway, I can see myself playing all 13 of these as useful service music. Coming out of the ether on a Sunday evening before, or even after, Evensong, any one of these would set the tone for a beautiful service or a gentle walk home. 

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4 hours ago, sjf1967 said:

From memory, some of the Benediction settings have fairly substantial accompaniments (I haven't programmed them yet as various circumstances have meant Evensong and Benediction has been off the table until quite recently).There's a little unison mass which is little more than harmonised quasi plainsong but very appealing. Yes, the Requiem is unaccompanied (good piece, we still use it sometimes, when there isn't a pandemic in progress). As you know he designed the ASMS organ - very cleverly. No slouch. If I get a moment  I might do a bit of digging in the archives one Sunday. Lord knows what's lying around the choir library. 

Thank you again. The unison mass sounds as if it would be a useful addition to the repertoire.

I’m sure board members would be interested to hear of anything else you unearth when you get a chance to go excavating.

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9 hours ago, Dafydd y Garreg Wen said:

Thank you again. The unison mass sounds as if it would be a useful addition to the repertoire.

I’m sure board members would be interested to hear of anything else you unearth when you get a chance to go excavating.

I’ll report back.....

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I had a quick ferret around in the library. Not much to report. Two short Benediction settings. The little unison mass. The Requiem. That's it. I suspect he composed as a matter of liturgical necessity, not from any great creative urges; most ASMS DoMs have contributed bits and pieces when circumstances required it, but none has been prolific (expect perhaps Harry Bramma, who wrote some excellent things for the choir). We've all written, or adapted, Benediction settings though.

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