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Prelude on "Jerusalem the Golden"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/16/20)
Composer: Dicks, Ernest A.
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Ernest Alfred Dicks (1865-1948) was an organist in Cheltenham, and also to the Royal Masonic Lodge. He published several collections, including the three volume collection of "Short and Easy Pieces," published by Bayley & Ferguson in 1913.

This collection looks to be quite "useful," and the pieces are all quite brief, although may be a bit more difficult than the word "easy" might convey.

The hymn, "Jerusalem the Golden," has always been one of my favorites. It isn't done hardly at all these days, and it's been years since I've heard it.

The tune is called "Ewing," and was composed by the Scotsman, Alexander A. Ewing (1830-1895), and the wonderful words always associated with it were written by Bernard of Cluny, and translated by the Rev. John Mason Neale (1818-1866).

The setting by Dicks is actually a good study, as it requires legato playing in 3rds and 6ths in the left had, while the tune is set in long, "unadorned" notes in the right.

The text for the first verse is:

Jerusalem the golden,
with milk and honey blest,
beneath your contemplation
sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O I know not,
what joys await us there;
what radiancy of glory,
what bliss beyond compare.

The score is attached below, as well as an "unbuilt" plan for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The design was one of the 4 finalists in the great competition held in 1888, and was done by William Halsey Wood (1855-1897). A photo of Wood is also below.

In addition to being an architect, Wood was Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of the House of Prayer in Newark, New Jersey, and a devout Anglo Catholic.

The thought of this came to mind because he was the architect who designed St. John's Church in Passaic, New Jersey, where my great, the late Rev. Allen A. Hinman was rector.

William Halsey Wood has no connection to this piece or hymn, but the title of "Jerusalem the Golden" brought his amazing architectural conception to mind.

Peace and safety to all.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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