Music for Easter Sunday — April 17 2022

Chorale Prelude on a melody by Melchior Vulpius – Healey Willan (1880 – 1968)

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Healey Willan was born in 1880 in England, and from an early age showed an interest in music and liturgy. He was educated at St Saviour’s School in Eastbourne, were he also gained a deep appreciation for church music, singing Evensong every day, and studying composition and organ.

In 1913 Healey Willan moved to Canada as he was appointed as head of the Toronto Conservatory of Music. In Toronto he also served as organist and choirmaster for nearly 50 years at the Anglo-Catholic parish of St Mary Magdalene.

Today’s postlude is from set of six compositions written by Healey Willan in 1950, all of which draw inspiration from German chorales of the sixteenth century. One of the most important composers of the time was Melchior Vulpius, whose melody we find in The New English Hymnal (107) with the words

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!

Now is the triumph of our King

To all the world glad news we bring


Gerald Harder