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Choral Prelude on "Rockingham" (Twelve Hymn Tune Voluntaries, No. 3)

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Live "from" Utrecht

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/28/20)
Composer: Dicks, Ernest A.
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Ernest Alfred Dicks (1865-1948) was an organist in Cheltenham, and also to the Royal Masonic Lodge. He published several collections, including these fine set of "Hymn Tune Voluntaries - Twelve Pieces for Organ in Various Styles founded on Favourite Psalm and Hymn Tunes," published by Bayley & Ferguson in 1923.

The style is indeed varied, and some of the pieces, actually, most of the pieces, are filled with charm and color. They are unpretentious, and quite "old fashioned," especially when you consider what was happening in the musical world of 1923!

All of them are brief, and while none of them are really hard, I can't say that many of them are actually easy. I suppose it depends on the degree of "detailing" that you want to do.

I'm doing the entire set of 12, but skipping over the Christmas ones for now, and holding off on the Easter ones, which I'll do at the appropriate time. I've also omitted the "Thanksgiving" one for the time being.

"Choral Prelude on 'Rockingham'" is the 3rd in the collection. It is dedicated: To "J. Godfrey Luard Esq.", and takes the beloved melody which was harmonized by Edward Miller (1735-1807) as its theme. The selected text is: "When I survey the wondrous cross."

I found this "little thing" to be the gem of the collection. It is humble, devout, rich in melodic invention, and a true offering of prayer and devotion. The chief difficulty here will be the exact following of the registrational indications, which are not as easy as you may think, assuming you are striving for exact "accuracy" as to when you add and when you remove the stops in question.

The scores, which are rare, are courtesy, once again, of Dr. John Henderson, Librarian for the Royal School of Church Music. They are attached below in 2 pdf's, as the "complete" set omits two pages from the first piece in the collection.


Peace and safety to All!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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