Music for Pentecost 9 — Sunday August 7 2022

Finale Jubilante (from Five Pieces for Organ) – Healey Willan (1880-1968)

Written for Gerald Wheeler for the dedication of the organ in St. Matthew’s, Ottawa, the Five Pieces, published in 1959, constitute a highwater mark among Healey Willan’s (1880-1968) miniatures. Each one is an admirably crafted character piece, with a consistency of charm and originality seldom found in Willan’s organ music.

The Finale Jubilante, this Sunday’s postlude in church, sees a return to the regal mood of the opening Fanfareof this suite of pieces, only now there is less of the free improvisatory spirit and a more worked-out impression instead. Willan seems to have had a feeling for the occasion — for the rejoicing of a congregation at hearing their church’s magnificent new organ speaking for the first time — and he has it ring out like a grand peal of bells.

Gerald Harder