HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! To celebrate my special day, I am truly honoured to share my interpretation of this beautiful work for organ by the Canadian composer, Healey Willan (1880-1968). Inspired by the 17th-century German hymn, “Gelobt sei Gott” by Melchior Vulpius (c. 1560-1615), this chorale prelude is an exquisite example of Willan’s mastery in harmonisation and contrapuntal writing.
The chorale prelude unfolds with a rich tapestry of harmonic colours, highlighting the inherent beauty of Vulpius’ original melody over the noticeably intricate counterpoint and busy accompaniment!
Healey Willan, known as the “Dean of Canadian composers,” was an organist, composer, and teacher who contributed significantly to the development of church music in North America. His output includes more than 800 compositions, ranging from organ and choral works to chamber music and operas.
Melchior Vulpius was a German singer, composer, and teacher who is best known for his hymn tunes. His legacy lives on through his melodies that continue to inspire and uplift musicians and audiences alike.
I recorded this on the fabulous sample set of Alessandria by @PiotrGrabowski_Organs.
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