124 pages | 37 B/W Illus.
This volume considers the influences and development of the English organ sonata tradition that began in the 1850s with compositions by W. T. Best and William Spark. With the expansion of the instrument’s capabilities came an opportunity for organist-composers to consider the repertoire anew with many factors reinforcing a desire to elevate the literature to new heights. This study begins by examining the legacy of the keyboard sonata in Britain and especially the pedagogical lineage that was to be seen through Mendelssohn and ultimately the early organ sonatas. The abiding influence of William Crotch’s lectures are studied to illuminate how a culture of conservatism emboldened the organist-composers towards compositions that were seen to represent the ideals of the Classical era but in a contemporary vein. The veneration of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven is then examined as composers wrote "portfolio" sonatas, each with a movement in a contrasting style to exhibit their compositional prowess while providing repertoire for the novice and connoisseur alike. Finally the volume considers how the British organist-composers who studied at the Leipzig Conservatorium had a direct bearing on the furtherance of an organ culture at home that in turn set the ground for the seminal work in the genre, Elgar’s Sonata of 1895.
Chapter 1 Classicism in the English Organ Sonata Tradition
Chapter 2 The Earliest English Organ Sonatas
Chapter 3 The Highest Walks of Art
Chapter 4 The Leipzig Influence and the Path to Elgar
This series was originally supported by funds made available to the Royal Musical Association from the estate of Thurston Dart. Its purpose is to provide a medium for specialized investigations of a topic, concept or repertory - studies of a kind that would not normally be feasible for commercial publishers and that would be too long for most periodicals.