William Faulkes (1863-1933), composer, organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organizer. Remarkably, for a composer so fluent and prolific, Faulkes was consistently omitted from the major dictionaries of music. From time to time, he is found in smaller more specific dictionaries – or perhaps more correctly, directories from the late 19th and early 20th century. In these, Faulkes is sometimes described as a leader of the modern English school of organ playing; or a leading composer of the English romantic school of organ playing.
Born in Liverpool, at the age of 10 became a chorister at St. Margaret's Church, Anfield, which was the largest brick church in England, and had the largest organ in Liverpool. At the age of 18, he was appointed organist of St. John's, Tue Brook, and five years later returned to St. Margaret's. He had a fine all-male (all volunteer) choir, and the level of musical excellence at the church was significant. As an organist, he was a brilliant performer, and earned the admiration of the leading British organist of the time, W. T. Best.
"Legende & Finale" is composed on a grand scale, and offers a wide range of colors and dynamic contrasts. It was published by Schott in 1899, and is dedicated "To Edward J. Bellerby. Esq. Mus. Doc., Oxon. (Organist of Holy Trinity Church, Margate.)
Beginning with a long-spun melody in E-flat minor, played upon the orchestral oboe of the Solo, there are contrasting moments of in the corresponding major, using flutes and strings. The "Finale" is a truly rousing movement in which Faulkes maintains the drive and sweep, not to mention swagger! Their is a central section, "Cantabile" which maintains the eneregy, and the finale section, with some "outbursts" from the Solo tuba will get your attention, as it proudly and brilliantly thunders along!
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Faulkes, St. Margaret's, and the Hill organ of St. John's, Tue Brook.