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Processional March from "Callirhoë"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/21/19)
Composer: Bridge, J. Frederick / arr. Martin, George C.
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Sir John Frederick Bridge CVO (1844–1924) was from a musical family, and he became a church organist before he was 20, and he achieved his ambition to become a cathedral organist by the age of 24, at Manchester Cathedral. After six years there, he was invited to become organist at Westminster Abbey where he "reformed many unsound traditions in the choir, such as life-tenure of posts as vicars-choral and inadequate rehearsal of boys and men together. The services soon became renowned through his marked gifts as a trainer of boys' voices." His book, "A Westminster Pilgrim," written in 1918, the year he retired from the Abbey, is a lengthy, but highly enjoyable recounting of his memoirs. (YES, I've read it!!!) The critic, H. C. Colles wrote that the book showed why Bridge was "even more widely loved as a man than he has been respected as a musician."

The arranger of this piece is George Clement Martin (1844-1916). He was organist of Lambourn Parish Church while he was a boy, Sub-Organist (Assistant), under John Stainer, at St. Paul's Cathedral London (1876-1888) and Organist from 1888 until has death in 1916.

He is probably mostly remembered for his fine arrangements/transcriptions, but his "Te Deum in A" was quite popular at one time.

His primer on "The Art of Training Choir Boys" became a standard work on the subject.

Bringing off any of these grand marches is always tricky, and this one is no exception. The Pedal Open Wood 16' is heavy and a bit "boomy" at times, but that's part of the sound and the style.

I'll say more about the piece in my notes given in the First Comment.

The score is attached below, as well as numerous photos of Sir Frederick Bridge, of Sir George Martin, of Barclay Squire, the librettist for the Cantata "Callirhoë", of the ancient Greek theater where the story takes place, and, as if by magic, the opening phrases of the "Processional March" in Bridge's own hand!

I asked JFB if he'd send me a copy of this, and he did! Stout fellow!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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