George Coutts (1888 - 1962), was a Canadian organist, pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland on August 6, 1888, he moved to Toronto, Ontario, in 1911, where he taught at the Academy of Music and at Woodstock (Ontario) College. He was Head of the Regina Conservatory piano department, ca. 1921-1928; studied in England, 1928-1929; organist Chalmers United Church (Vancouver, British Columbia), as well as conductor of the Brahms Choir and the Little Symphony (later the Vancouver Junior Symphony), ca. 1931-1940. Coutts was organist-choirmaster at various Toronto churches, 1940-1959, and adjudicated throughout Canada. In addition he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto and University of Toronto. He died in Toronto on April 28, 1962.
The "Prelude and Fugue in E Minor" is a significant work and is dedicated to the famous Canadian (English) organist, Healey Willan (1880-1968), and was published by BMI Canada Limited in 1953.
The massive Prelude is very reminiscent of a Widor symphonic movement. It is as if we were approaching a huge cathedral shrouded in heavy mist. We can see it from afar, but it is only when we stand right before it that we realize just how big it is. When we enter (Fugue) we see (still shrouded in dim light) the high, high pointed arches and the dangerous slope of the ceiling. Gargoyles grin and dance from above, and the "dangerous" aspects of the fugue subject really show these further "gothic" elements. The whole piece really is like a gothic essay or tone painting.
The score is attached below. (It SHOULD have been, but I forgot, and I don't think you can "edit on" an attachment. You can find it here, and I really hope you will:
I dedicate this performance to our member, "rmdostie". THANKS, Rick! :-)