Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week.
The Canadian Enclycolpedia says this about the "early" organ works of Healey Willan (1880-1968): With the music for organ one enters a different world. Here Willan was thoroughly at home and made a significant and lasting contribution. One work stands out: the monumental "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue" of 1916. It represents the culmination of Willan's first period of organ composition, which started ca 1906 with a Fantasia on 'Ad coenam agni.' The Preludes and Fugues in C minor and B minor and the "Epilogue" are the other major works from this period. While not exploring the possibilities of the instrument as searchingly as his masterpiece, they are idiomatic and very typical of their time. They combine an innate Englishness (with a Stanfordian flavour) and a European chromaticism that can be found in Reger and Karg-Elert.
Born in England, Willan became organist-choirmaster of Toronto's largest church, St. Paul's, Bloor Street, but it was his royalties as a composer which allowed him to leave "low church" St. Paul's in 1921 and to become Precentor of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto).
This majestic work is based upon the tune we know as "St. Theodulph," originally (and still) known as "Valet will ich dir geben." It was composed by Melchior Teschner (1584-1635), and the text that we associate with Palm Sunday was written by Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans (c. 820), and translated by
the Rev. J. M. Neale (1818-1866).
The work is dedicated "To Dr. Gordon Slater" (organist of Lincoln Cathedral. This upload completes the collection of "Festal Voluntaries for Lent," published by Novello in 1956, and the score is attached below.
The tune gets a treatment that allows the organ to speak fully, including a chance for the tuba, and the 32' reed at the END! :-)
Also below, are photos of Willan, the organ at St. Mary's (Toronto), Gordon Slater, and Lorenzetti's painting of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.