Sir Alfred Herbert Brewer (1865-1928) was the great Victorian organist of Gloucester cathedral (1897-1928). A local musical monarch, he was a firm disciplinarian with choristers, lay clerks, and assistant organists. It was said to have been a "bad day" if he played a wrong note! His early musical training was as a chorister at Gloucester and then as a pupil of C. H. Lloyd. Apart from his music, he lead an active public life, being appointed City High Sheriff in 1922, and was knighted in 1926. As a composer, Brewer was fairly conservative. His output includes church music of all types, cantatas, songs, instrumental works, and orchestral music. His "Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in D major" is in the standard repertoire of Anglican church music. An organ work, "Marche Héroïque," is a grand piece, and one of the best of its type.
At Sir Hubert Parry's funeral in St Paul's Cathedral on October 16th 1918, a few of his friends made a small wreath of melodies, which were woven together and played. The pieces in this book have been written and given by these friends and a few besides, as a rather larger wreath, in loving memory of him. The title of the book was suggested by the by the original heading on his own piece (which stands as the first of them). "For the Little Organ Book". (1924)
This "little" piece has spooked me for years. Although I've played (and uploaded) most of the pieces in the collection, I've always "feared" and avoided this one, as there is a LOT to it. It's by no means the "typical" carillon, and has nothing in common with the great French pieces by the same name. This one is distinctively English, with a "pastoral-feel" to it. Still, the dynamic moves from soft to loud several times, making extreme use of the swell pedal. The music is tender, yet majestic, loving, and sort of sentimental. It really "stands out" from the entire collection of pieces as the "biggest" piece in the set.
The score and photo of Brewer are attached below.