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Solemn Prelude

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/08/20)
Composer: Blair, Hugh
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
Hugh Blair (25 May 1864 – 22 July 1932) was an English musician, composer and organist. Born in Worcester, he was the son of Rev. Robert Hugh Blair, who founded Worcester College for the Blind in 1866. A chorister at Worcester Cathedral and a pupil at The King's School, Worcester, Blair was organ scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. 1886, Mus.B. 1887, M.A. 1896 and Mus.D. 1906.

He was Organist of Worcester Cathedral from 1895 to 1897, having been Acting Organist before that time. Edward Elgar dedicated his cantata "The Black Knight" to Blair, who was conductor of the Worcester Festival Choral Society.

Worcester Cathedral Library contains copies of Blair's compositions, and his splendid Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor for double choir is in the repertoire of every cathedral choir, and is still often performed and recorded.

I found many interesting things at Rousseau Media Music: http://rousseau.shp.media/

There you can read more about Hugh Blair and his troubled life.

"Solemn Prelude" was published by Novello in 1920. Written in a dark, C minor, the work is powerful and expressive, making full use of chromaticism, before finally giving up the minor, and coming to rest on a final chord in the major.

I have previously uploaded this work, but in order to better fit my project with Dr. John Henderson, I've recorded again with a cathedral instrument, and in a much larger acoustical space.

The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Hugh Blair and several of Worcester Cathedral.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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