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Prelude on the Coventry Carol

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Uploaded by: alanr (12/06/20)
Composer: Sumsion, Herbert
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Modern
The Coventry Carol was part of a so-called mystery play (not a mediaeval whodunnit!) dating probably from the 14th century. The particular play from which it comes was originally performed in the summer but has for a very long time been used as a Christmas carol, referencing as it does the Slaughter of the Innocents.

Herbert Sumsion (1899 - 1995) was born in Gloucester and was a chorister in the cathedral there and eventually became its organist. He gained the FRCO diploma at the age of only 17. He served in Flanders during WWI. After graduating from Durham University he held various teaching and organist posts before going to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The then organist at Gloucester, Herbert Brewer, had let it be know that he wanted Sumsion to succeed him, and, when he died suddenly not long before the Three Choirs Festival, Sumsion had already accepted a post at Coventry, but a release was arranged and he duly took over at Gloucester in 1928 and stayed until 1967.

He is known as a church and organ composer, though he did write for other forces. The four preludes, of which this is number 2, were published in 1955.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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