Prelude, Air & Grand Fugue on
for Organ
(8 pages of music)

Complimentary PDF Booklet download available in May 2023



     Prelude, Air & Grand Fugue is a multi-sectional hymn setting based on an original tune composed and prepared by Herbert Howells (1892 ̶ 1983) for a text by Robert Seymour Bridges (1844 ̶ 1930). The tune name honors Howells’ memory of a son deceased in his childhood years.

    The Prelude opens with bold fanfare interpolations placed between each of the tune’s four phrases, followed by a stirring harmonization of each phrase. The Air provides a gentle harmonization of the first two phrases of the tune, lightly ornamented and presented in the soprano voice; the third phrase migrates to the tenor voice, with the fourth returning  to the soprano register. The Grand Fugue presents a cantus firmus fugue with points of imitation based on each phrase in the manuals, juxtaposed over boldly augmeted presentations of each phrase in the pedal (or bass) voice. Following the fourth phrase, a closing fanfare, reminiscent of the prelude, heralds a final codetta in which the first and fourth phrase are sounded simultaneously in treble and tenor ranges over a dominant pedalpoint that is resolved by a closing tonic chord.

    N.B. This composition and complimentary PDF booklet file is being offered on an Internet open file-sharing basis, and also on a non-profit basis. The contents are not for sale, republication or copyright, nor are they intended as a violation of the source hymn tune’s copyright status. The score is not copyrighted and is presented on this Internet platform out of respect for the Anglican Church of England's extraordinary tradition of hymnody and worship, and also with due acknowledgement of Howell's unique contribution to that august compilation of hymn tunes. And with all due respect to the publishing house of Novello, it is presented here to honor the composer — and also the author of the tune's text — and no disrespect is intended toward the owner of the tune's copyright.