Albert Lister Peace was born in Huddersfield, England January 26th, 1844. As a precocious pupil of Henry Horn and H. Parratt he was found to be a fine organist, and at just nine years of age he became organist of Holmfirth Parish Church. In 1865 he was appointed organist of Trinity Congregational Church in Glasgow. In 1870 Peace received from the University of Glasgow a bachelors degree in Music, and received his Doctorate in 1875. In 1873 he was organist of Glasgow Cathedral; and in 1897 he succeeded W. T. Best as organist of St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, the highest position in the kingdom. He died March 14th 1912 in Liverpool. His main works include, Psalm 138, for choir and orchestra; cantata St. John the Baptist; church-services; anthems; and organ-music, including 3 Sonatas; Concert-fantasia on Scotch melodies; Fantasia in B-flat, amongst his most significant works.
"Allegro alla Marcia" dates from 1899, and was first published by Novello in "The Village Organist." "Village organist" or not, you'll need quick hands to play this at the written metronome mark! It's a very sprightly work in the key of D minor, but the minor tonality brings no touch of sadness. It's really rather "military," and I've tried to play it without any "eases" (ritards) at the ends of sections. Not that easy to make the changes AND keep the tempo at this pace.
I always try to do my uploads in entirely "real-life accurate" performers, but I'm not sure that one of the changes could be made as quickly as I've done it, if I were playing the real organ. This fine old Binns has combination pistons, but not generals. It has 3 for the Swell and 3 for the Great, plus the always very helpful, "Great and Pedal Combinations" coupled accessory. Despite having these registration aids, an organist would still need assistants in order to make rapid, significant stop changes. It's a wonderful and truly English sound, despite the dry acoustic.
The score is attached below.