Percy Eastman Fletcher, was born in Derby on 12 December 1879 and died on 10 December 1932 at the early age of 52. He took lessons on violin, piano and organ, the former being his most important instrument. Like a number of his composer contemporaries, he made his living as a Musical Director in the London theater world, fulfilling this position successively at the Prince of Wales, Savoy, Daly's, Drury Lane and from, 1915 until his death, His Majesty's Theatre.
Fletcher wrote a large number of suites for light orchestras, and many fine, now forgotten, orchestral works.
He also composed quite widely for organ. An Interlude of 1901 is probably his earliest dated publication, while later works include the two most famous of his organ works, both dating from 1915, "Festival Toccata" and the always exquisite, "Fountain Reverie."
No Palm Sunday processional hymn is more well-known than the great tune, "St. Theodulph". It was composed by Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635). He studied philosophy, theology, and music at the University of Frankfurt an-der-Oder and later studied at the universities of Helmstedt and Wittenberg, Germany. From 1609 until 1614 he served as cantor in the Lutheran church in Fraustadt, and from 1614 until his death he was pastor of the church in Oberpritschen.
Fletcher's setting of the great melody is a very unique one. It is found in "Hymn-Tune Voluntaries, Part IV" published by J. Curwen & Sons Ltd. in 1911.
The composer calls the piece a "Grand March," and it is, but there are many pleasing surprises and unexpected turns to be found within!
It really is quite a glorious piece, assuming you like and accept the style, and one that will certainly be noticed. Some may find it "irreverent," but I think it captures the excitement of our Savior's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Percy Eastman Fletcher.