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OrganistOnTheHill

Cuts for Crown Imperial

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The Murrill edition suggests where some cuts might be made if necessary, but I've never had cause to investigate or use them.  I don't know about Gower, but I do suggest one modification to the Murrill realisation, which is to replace his "dum,da,DA" rhythm for the main theme with Walton's original "da-dum,da DA" - if you see what I mean.  You need a relaxed wrist to do it, and it might not  work on a slow pneumatic action, but I think it's an improvement.

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I think you might be muddling Crown Imperial with Orb and Sceptre because there isn't a Gower version of Crown Imperial. The original version of the Murrill arrangement does have suggested cuts, I believe, and I think I am correct in saying that the more recently published version in the Oxford Book of Wedding Music (still by Murrill) incorporates those cuts. Without looking it all up, I believe it ALSO suggests further cuts that may be made. Does that help?

As far as Robert Gower is concerned, he produced the excellent William Walton Organ Album in which there is an arrangement by him of the Orb and Sceptre which is MUCH more approachable than the original arrangement (by William McKie) published by OUP. This latter version is really pretty tricky - and the Gower version is no pushover, in my view.

In the process of writing this, David has replied, and I wholly agree with his point re the rhythm at the start of Crown Imperial. I have never understood why Herbert Murrill didn't reproduce this rhythm exactly as it must (presumably) appear in the full score.

A further improvement, if I might be so bold, concerns the reprise of the opening dotted theme after the big tune in A flat major, where, if you listen to the orchestral version, a loud timpani plays on the first beat of the bar. I have got in the habit of replicating this by playing bottom C and C1 on the pedals ( together) before picking up with the rhythm that David mentions. If you search out an orchestral version of the piece you will quickly hear what we are going on about and then you can decide for yourself. Listen here, for example.

Altogether, Crown Imperial is a great piece which is not too difficult at all and it should work well on the organs that you have access to. Enjoy! 

 

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Gower's Walton album states that the Crown Imperial was from the Murrill edition. I have an old OUP Crown Imperial (the one with the green cover) that I found at the organ loft and compared it to the edition in Gower album but I found some minor differences while playing both editions. Maybe it might be a mistake on my note....

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