Cuthbert Harris, Mus.D. (Durham, 1899) (b. Holloway, London, England, June 7th, 1870; d. Gorleston-on-Sea, June 17th, 1932) studied at the London Organ School. He was Organist of St. Andrew’s, Streatham, London, 1893; St. Leonard’s Parish Church, Streatham, London, 1903. He was a teacher and author of “First Studies for the Organ”. b. Holloway, London, England, June 7th, 1870; d. Gorleston-on-Sea, June 17th, 1932.
Best known for his compositions for organ most of which continue in today's organ repetoire. Among his organ works are: "At Eventide", "Berceuse in G", "Chanson pastorale", "Concluding Voluntary in D minor", "Concluding Voluntary in G major" and "Festival Postlude in C".
"Fantasia on the old Melody "Veni Emmanuel'" was published by Augener Ltd. in 1913. It is included in the collection: "Outgoing Voluntaries," found on p. 44 of the pdf. It's really quite a "big piece," and Harris has managed to find something new in the "old melody".
The piece opens with massive chords and gets right down to business! This is not a gentle and quiet introduction to the season of Advent!
The opening gives way to an agitated "toccata-like" section. I suppose you could call the style "neo-baroque," but the harmonies and effect is clearly of the late romantic.
A brief "chorale-like" statement is played on the full Swell, although Harris specifically asks for one phrase to be played on the vox humana. I considered "changing" it, but decided to go with what he asks for, playing it on the Solo orchestral oboe with trem., as Hereford does not have a vox.
The agitation returns, leading to an even bigger cadence, before blossoming into a full organ toccata. This sweeping statement leads to a grandiose conclusion which (thankfully!) ends in the minor.
All-in-all, I think this is a great "new" Advent discovery!
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Harris and of the churches at which he served!
A blessed Advent to All!
MUCH more music to come... :-)