Ever since my interest in organs began back in the late 1960's I have taken an interest in the quality of what I regard as an organ's most important stop - the 8-foot foundation of the main principal chorus.
This short work highlights the Principal 8 at Poblet in so many ways, as it has done on the many instruments I've played it on over the years since.
The composer, William Croft (1678 - 1727) was educated at the Chapel Royal, under the instruction of John Blow, and remained there until 1698. Two years after this departure, he became organist of St. Anne's Church, Soho. In 1707, he took over the Chapel Royal's "Master of the Children" post, which had been left vacant by the suicide of Jeremiah Clarke (one of Croft's pupils in this capacity was Maurice Greene). The following year, Croft succeeded Blow (who had lately died) as organist of Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne (1714) and for the coronation of King George I (1715).
One of Croft's most enduring pieces is the hymn tune "St Anne" written to the poem Our God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts. It's melody bears a purely coincidental resemblance to the subject of Bach's Fugue in E flat BWV 552 - often called the "St. Anne" Fugue.