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Slumber-Song (Twelve Melodious Pieces, Op. 26, No. 11)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/19/20)
Composer: Driffield, E. Townshend
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Description:
Edward Townshend Driffield was born in Prescot, near Liverpool, on December 10, 1851, and died at Ormskirk on Nov. 15th, 1925.

He was organist of Christ Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, and a solicitor in Tranmere.

"Twelve Melodious Pieces" were published by E. Donajowski, London, and are inscribed to him. They are solid, well-written, mostly conservative pieces.

"Slumber-Song" is the eleventh work in the collection. In many ways it was the hardest to get right. I think I spent more time with this one than any other one of the 12.

In the key of A major, it is not really a "slow" piece. Certainly it is a bit "quicker" in feel than we would associate with most lullabies. The soft oom-pah throughout the piece, which is in 2/4 moves the work along with a gentle steady rhythm, creating the feeling of happily wandering down the path to dreamland, rather than being rocked in the cradle.

The main technical difficulty is the management and execution of the registration. Driffield is absolutely specific in what he wants, and I've actually followed this pretty close to the letter.

The issues are really in the blending of stops, and especially just how particular stops come on and go off. You have to make the changes while playing, and often change back in forth in the middle of the phrase.

This means that you have to judge the speed of how fast or slow the pistons make the stop changes. Once you do that, you probably have to "anticipate," pushing the piston, in this case, mostly Swell divisional pistons, "ahead" of the actually beat. It's complicated...

Also, the changes in stops indicated are not subtle, but I think the final outcome is OK. Believe me when I say that I tried ALL options!

The score, courtesy of Dr. John Henderson, is attached below.

Also attached is a photo of Christ Church, Claughton, Birkenhead, where Driffield was organist, as well as two shots of his grave in
Merseyside.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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