William Faulkes 1863-1933. Composer, organist, pianist, arranger, recitalist, teacher, chamber musician, conductor, musical organiser.
(The entire content of this biographical sketch is the original research of Michael Baron, Musician, UK, and used by permission)
That William Faulkes existed is not in doubt. Child, parent, pupil, friend, apprentice and master – William Faulkes was all of these things.
Since his death, there has been much unkindness and dismissive criticism about Faulkes and his music. Such attitudes are unworthy and generally unhelpful. As his music is still being played and enjoyed by many organists, perhaps now is the time for a reappraisal free from any of the predjudices of his contemporary critics. Nowadays, there is nobody left alive who can tell us about the man himself. So for the moment, much has to be guessed at using the limited available evidence from a wide variety of sources. Here is what I have managed to unearth so far.
Missing from dictionaries
Remarkably, for a composer so fluent and prolific, William Faulkes was consistently omitted from the major dictionaries of music. From time to time, he is found in smaller more specific (and mostly American) dictionaries – or perhaps more correctly, directories from the late 19th and early 20th century. In these, Faulkes is sometimes described as a leader of the modern English school of organ playing; or a leading composer of the English romantic school of organ playing.
A long working life
William Faulkes was so much part of the substance of St Margaret’s church, Anfield, Liverpool. However, although he was appointed organist 18 February 1886 and he worked there from 1886 to 1933, his association with St Margaret’s pre-dates the 1886 appointment. The following notice appears in the Liverpool Mercury for Tuesday 25 November 1879:
Consecration of a New Church at Great Sutton.–The new church of St John the Evangelist which has been erected at Great Sutton in the parish of Eastham, was consecrated yesterday….The church was crowded…The musical part of the morning service, which was full choral, was rendered by a special choir of 18 voices from St Margaret’s Church, Anfield, the organist being Mr W. H. Faulkes. The Te Deum was Macfarren’s in G; the responses were Tallis’s; the Confession was Ferial; the Kyrie, Gloria and Creed were A.H. Browne’s in C; and at the conclusion of the service the organist played Lefebure Wely’s Offertoire in B flat.
During his tenure at St Margaret’s, Faulkes wrote many compositions and music for services and festivals and also trained the choir.
William Faulkes’ first appointment was to the church of St John the Baptist, Tuebrook, Liverpool. He was organist there from 1882 until 1886.
Faulkes as Pianist
Shortly after Faulkes’ appointment to St Margaret’s Church, the following announcement appeared in the Liverpool Mercury for Monday 14 February 1887: The second of Messrs. Dreaper’s present series of matinees, given on Saturday*, served to introduce a new pianist, Mr. Faulkes, who proved a careful and painstaking artist, and whose future will be watched with interest. *(Saturday 12 February 1887).
Liverpool Mercury Monday 14 March 1887
Messrs. Dreaper announce the fourth Matinee of the present series for Saturday next, the 19th instant. As previously stated, Miss Margaret Webster is the pianist, and she will beyond doubt sustain the credit of the series of performances. Mr. William Faulkes, the organist of St. Margaret’s, Anfield, is to be accompanist, the vocalist engaged being Miss Nina Castelli. The recital begins at three o’clock.
Liverpool Mercury – Monday 10 December 1888
DREAPER’S RECITALS. Mr. William Faulkes has improved greatly since he last played at Dreaper’s Rooms, and it was a pleasure to note how on Saturday he unobtrusively and unostentatiously went through a programme bristling with difficulties. The latter comprised the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue of Bach; the “Moonlight” Sonata of Beethoven, and the Mendelssohn B minor Capricco; three not very small items to start a performance with, but to each of which – and the styles were certainly diffuse enough – very considerable justice was done, the Beethoven number (so often deplorably treated) in particular proving Mr. Faulkes’s worthiness as an interpreter of ‘the highest school of musical thought’. His own Study in A flat was encored, as was also Schumann’s Novellette and the new composition ought to become popular with those who can play. The Moszkowski Serenade dragged a little; but in these days of rapidity and railway speed it is, perhaps, a fault on the right side to adopt the good old motto festina lente. Anyway, there was no lack of dash about the Liszt fantasia – “Robert the Devil*,” which latter item was characterised by a pianist present who was fully capable of judging such things as a “regular scorcher”. There was a large and thoroughly appreciative audience. [*Grande Fantaisie sur des Motifs de Robert the Devil de Meyerbeer for Piano by Franz Liszt]
Cheshire Observer – Saturday 12 December 1891
Dramatic Recital.— The public of even a vaunted music-loving city like Chester can be strangely apathetic at times. This was very evident on Thursday night, when there was a miserably poor audience at the excellent musical and dramatic recital given at the Music Hall by Mr. W. R. Duncan and Miss Helen Conway (from Drury Lane). Miss Conway proved herself a charming and accomplished elocutionist, and Mr. Duncan had full scope for his wonderful powers of mimicry in a few sketches, chiefly original, satirising social gatherings and the foibles of amateur reciters. The programme, which included the celebrated Helen and Modus scene from the “The Hunchback,” exquisitely rendered, was varied by pianoforte solos by Mr. William Faulkes, of Liverpool.
Liverpool Mercury Thursday 24 November 1892
The Dreaper matinees at 96, Bold-street are to be resumed on Saturday afternoon, when Mr. William Faulkes will give a pianoforte recital. Vocal selections by Mrs. Burstall are also announced, and Mr. Martin Schneider will be the accompanyist (sic).
Liverpool Mercury – Monday 28 November 1892
MESSRS. DREAPERS MATINEES. A new series for the present season of Messrs. Dreaper’s classical matinee was opened on Saturday afternoon, in the rooms of the firm in Bold street, when Mr. William Faulkes gave a piano-forte recital, assisted, in spite of recent indisposition by Mrs. Burstall as vocalist. A well-chosen programme, which included a collection of “Waltz Caprices” by the pianist himself, and a Serenata and Tarantella by Moszkowski was rendered with taste and judgment by Mr. Faulkes, who also displayed his musical ability with effect in the execution of selections from Chopin’s works.
Liverpool Mercury – Saturday 14 December 1895
MESSRS. DREAPER’S ROOMS,96, BOLD-STREET, LIVERPOOL. THE FIRST CLASSICAL MATINEE WILL BE GIVEN TO-DAY, ARTISTES; MR. WILLIAM FAULKES, Solo Piano. MISS ETTIE DREAPER, Soprano. MR. S. A. RAWKINS, Accompanist. ADMISSION ONE SHILLING. Commence at 3p.m. Carriages at 4.30 p.m.Tickets way be obtained from Messrs. Dreaper, 96, Bold-street.
Liverpool Daily Post – Saturday 09 November 1918
ST. MARGARET’S HALL ROCKY-LANE, ANFIELD PIANO-FORTE RECITAL MR. WILLIAM FAULKES. VOCALIST, MRS E. J. RILEY TUESDAY NEXT, 12th inst., at 8 o’clock. In Aid of the Church Army Huts Fund. Programme: 1. (a) Prelude, Sarabande and Passacaille Handel. (b) Sonata (Moonlight) Beethoven. (c) Cappriccio Brilliant (Op. 22) Mendelssohn 2. (a) Nachtstuke (b) Arabesque Schumann (c) Novellette in E (No. 7) 3. (a) Valse (C sharp minor). (b) Nocturne (D flat). (c) Three Studies (Op.25 Nos. 1, 2 and 3). Chopin (d) Mazurka (e) Fantasia Impromptu. (f) Scherzo (B flat minor)
Songs by Puccini, Mascagni, &c.
Admission 1/3 (including tax).
St Margaret’s Church, Anfield
St Margaret’s Anfield was a very prominent church built in 1873 and stood at the corner of Belmont Road and Rocky Lane (modern postcode Liverpool L6 4BA). This church – as is well documented – was the gift of Alderman Preston. It was designed by Audsley and built to his specification. It was at one time the largest brick church in the country with what was described as “the finest brick interior” and contained the largest organ in Liverpool at that time. The original church was destroyed in what is now understood to have been an arson attack in 1961 (at least two other churches in the Liverpool area were attacked within the same period but their fires were extinguished). The modern building which replaced it occupies the same site today.
The Anfield Orchestral Society
William Faulkes also conducted the Anfield Orchestral society which gave concerts of not insignificant works before the first world war. This notice appears in the Musical Times for January 1912:
‘The Anfield Orchestral Society, which Mr. William Faulkes conducts, on December 6 played two movements from Beethoven’s seventh Symphony‘.
…’and at the closing concert of the fifth season of the Anfield Orchestral Society on April 10 Mr. William Faulkes conducted performances of the ‘Oberon’ overture‘… Musical Times May 1913
…’instrumental rather than choral, is the Anfield Orchestral Society. Under the direction of Mr. William Faulkes the society continues to prosper‘ … Musical Times June 1914
Liverpool Daily Post Thursday 21 July 1915
ANFIELD ORCHESTRAL SOCIETY – On the occasion of their fourteenth concert the Anfield Orchestral Society, at the Parochial Hall, Anfield, last evening, were able to submit a programme which, whilst not unduly ambitious, was well calculated to display to advantage the capacity of the performers. Under Mr. Wm. Faulkes’s conductorship, the orchestra submitted highly creditable versions of the allegro moderato from Mozart’s Symphony in C, the overture to “Mirella” (Gounod), and the overture to Balfe’s “Siege of Rochelle.” Each item was executed with good tonal effect. The Septuor for strings, trumpet, and piano (Saint-Saens) in which Mr. Pierpoint was responsible for the trumpet part and Mr. Faulkes presided at the piano, was handled daintily and with intelligence. Mr. Wm. Faulkes was underlined for the pianoforte concerto in F minor (Chopin), on which he brought to bear commendable interpretative qualities. Several tastefully rendered songs were given by Mrs Howard Stephens.
Faulkes’ work at St Margaret’s continued unabated. He wrote choral morning, evening and communion services for the church; contributed a piece of music (a choral song with accompaniment for military band, published by Banks and Son, York) to the 700 year celebrations for the City of Liverpool; two musical dramatic cantatas for his church; a book of original alternative hymn tunes; much chamber music and two concertos (one for violin and one for piano), organ music, piano music and songs.
Troubled times at St Margaret’s, Anfield
Many significant clergy were also appointed to St Margaret’s, among them Canon Sheepshanks and the most unfortunate Rev John Wakeford. All were high churchmen. On several occasions throughout the 1890s, services at St Margaret’s were subject to disturbance by protesters. In 1899, Rev John Wakeford would offer places to curates who had been caught up in ritualistic controversy.
We do not know where Faulkes stood in the matter of churchmanship. However, among his many pieces for organ are those entitled Communion, Elevation, Benediction. These give us some clues.
Marriage and family tragedies
William Faulkes was married twice. His first marriage was to Constance Emma Rebecca Henderson. The marriage took place at St Margaret’s Anfield in the second quarter of 1890, when Faulkes was 26 years of age. His bride was 23.
Liverpool Mercury Thursday 17 April 1890
FAULKES-HENDERSON – April 16, at S. Margaret’s, Anfield, by the Rev. John Sheepshanks, George William Henry Faulkes, to Constance Emma Rebecca eldest daughter of the late Arthur Henderson, and granddaughter of the late Colonel Sir James Henderson, K.H., 92nd Highlanders, and the late Dr. James Ryley Kenworthy, of Cambock, Tasmania
Everything appears to have run smoothly. Three children are born to the couple: Richard William on 5 July 1891; Constance Kathleen on 1 February 1894 and George Arthur on 5 January 1897.
Tragically, Constance Emma died in July 1897 and baby George died in December 1897. This left William a widower with two children.
A second chance
William Faulkes married again in 1899 to Keturah Alice Lodge. The wedding took place in Holy Trinity church, Clapham, London. Their child was born on 26 August 1904 and christened John Sebastian. John Sebastian Faulkes (1904-1973) became a musician – as Oboist and Cor Anglais specialist. He was featured in a number of broadcasts from Buxton Municipal Orchestra in the 1930s.
Keturah outlived William by 12 years and died on 18 February 1945 on the Wirral. She left property to the value of £35.
There are numerous documents showing Keturah applying for renewal of copyright of her late husband’s works in the 1930s.
Faulkes’ Homes in Liverpool
William Faulkes lived in various houses all within the area of St Margaret’s church. Addresses include 23 Rocky Lane; “Amhurst”, 85 Priory Road; 4 Walton Breck Road.
William Faulkes was one of many articled pupils. Nowadays we expect that a composer might have studied at a university or music college. In the 19th century and long before, aspiring musicians and composers were apprenticed to masters. This system prevailed for many years and to a certain extent still continues in some branches of the musical profession, particularly organists.
William Faulkes’ mother, Teresa, was a schoolteacher. His father, George, was a grocer, then tea importer. Therefore, there was money for education and aspiration.
William Faulkes was most likely to have been educated by his mother. He was first taught music by his older sister Ellen. It is also thought that he was taught to sing by Ellen. William also played the piano and violin.
William and Ellen were both baptised at the new church of St Margaret’s in Anfield, on 16th October 1875, when William was 12 and Ellen was 20.
William was also educated musically by at least two other teachers. The one whose reputation goes before him these days – but for entirely the wrong reasons – is Henry Ditton Newman.
Henry Ditton Newman was born 4 Dec 1843 in Thames Ditton. His parents were Daniel and Mary and Daniel’s occupation is given as “Gentleman”. He is baptised 11 May 1847 Thames Ditton in the church of St Mary.
Henry Ditton Newman held organists posts in Alton, Hampshire, Rhyl, Denbighshire; St Margaret’s, Anfield; and lastly at St John’s, Torquay. He left St Margaret’s in 1879. There is no doubt that William Faulkes was a pupil of Henry Ditton Newman. Ditton Newman’s seaside appointments appear to point to a consumptive history.
Henry Ditton Newman started at St John’s Torquay in 1879 and remained in post until about October 1883 when he died at the age of 40. The cause of death was given as Pleurisy.
Samuel Sebastian Wesley
Henry Ditton Newman had been articled as a pupil to Samuel Sebastian Wesley.
William Dawson (1851- 9 May 1924) was born in Longwood, near Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. For much of his life in Liverpool, he lived at 23 White Rock Street, not far from St Margaret’s church, where he was married. The following notice from the Liverpool Mercury is an interesting account of a rebuilt organ on which the young Dawson gave the inaugural recital in 1868 at the age of 17:
Liverpool Mercury Thursday 26 November 1868
ORGAN RECITAL AT BERKELEY-STREET CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. The organ this place of worship, having been re-built and considerably enlarged by Mr. Tubb, of Concert-street (so well known the talented and obliging manager of the Liverpool establishment Messrs. Gray and Davison), was re-opened last evening by Mr. William Dawson, organist of Hope-street Church, in the presence of a numerous and respectable congregation. Without entering into any lengthy technical details, may remark that Mr. Tubb has, by a judicious re-arrangement of the interior mechanism, &c., rendered the instrument a very effective one, and admirably adapted to the building in which it is placed. The majesty of its tone has been increased by the introduction of a pedal open diapason to CCC, whilst he has afforded the performer an opportunity of making more varied and pleasing combinations by adding a dulciana and clarionet to the ” great,” and an open diapason and a principal to the “swell.” The whole of the stops which are of 8ft. tone, and, with one exception, extend throughout the entire compass. The effect of this section of the organ is now exceedingly good, though it to be regretted that its tone has not been brightened by adding a four or five-rank mixture. Another improvement is the introduction of super and sub-octave couplers. The new work generally is excellent, and we understand that the manner in which Mr. Tubb has carried out his undertaking has given much satisfaction the authorities of the church. In fairness to him, as well as to the young gentleman who presided on the occasion, it should be stated that the mechanism of these couplers is not yet complete, nor is the pedal bourdon yet in the instrument, so that it would not heard to much advantage as it would otherwise have been. Mr. Dawson’s programme comprised a number of compositions by some the best writers for the organ, and, taking into consideration his youth and inexperience, they were most creditably played, generally speaking. The pieces in which he best exhibited the powers of the instrument were fantasie in C minor by A. Hesse; Offertoire in F by Wely; an Andante in Eb by Batiste, and an Air with Variations by Rinck. (W.)
Dawson appears not to have sought the limelight very often, as the following announcement shows: (the exhibition referred to is that which was held in Liverpool in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887)
Liverpool Mercury – Monday 23 May 1887
(Re the Exhibition) – Mr Jude terminated his engagement on Saturday, and today is succeeded at the organ by Mr. W. Dawson, who is beyond doubt one of the very best perfomers in this locality, and of whom much more would be heard were it not for the fact that natural diffidence has tended for years to keep a particularly bright light under the proverbial bushel.
William Dawson was organist at Hope Street Unitarian church in Liverpool until 1888.
Liverpool Mercury Monday 20 August 1888
MUSICAL NOTES. The many friends of Mr. G. Nicholson the resident representative of the firm of Gray and Davison, organ builders, in this city, will congratulate him upon his appointment to the post of organist of Hope-street Unitarian Church. There was considerable competition for the appointment, which had been held for several years and up to a month or two ago by Mr. William Dawson. Mr. Nicholson enters upon his duties at once.
Hope Street Congregational church was demolished in the 1950s.
William Dawson – Composer
William Dawson received positive notices for his compositions as they were published, such as this one:
Liverpool Mercury Wednesday 1 April 1885
“New Music” – Some time ago we had occasion to speak here in terms of cordial commendation of an Adagio in D major, constituting one of a series of original compositions for the organ, by W. Dawson, of Liverpool, and now there come to us other(sic) two of the same series, namely, a Fantasia (introducing the Austrian Hymn) and an Allegro (in the form of a march). Broadly designed, both pieces strongly suggest Mr. Dawson’s inventive resource and his skill in preserving unity of plan. They are published by himself, at 23 Whiterock-street. The Fantasia is dedicated to Dr. R. W. Crowe.
and the following:
Liverpool Mercury Thursday 23 June 1887
Rondo in F (composed and published by W. Dawson, Whiterock-street). This is the first of a series of progressive pieces which ought to prove useful to teachers. Pastorale in A major is by the same writer, and forms the twelfth number of his clever original compositions for the organ.
The following notice from Freeman’s Journal (Dublin) for Friday 15 July 1887 is of interest: “NEW MUSIC. PASTORALE IN A MAJOR FOR THE ORGAN By W Dawson. Published by W Dawson, 23 White Rock street, Liverpool, As compared with the crowd of writers who essay their genius in the production of waltzes, polkas, and songs, the number of those who write for the grandest of instruments, the organ is comparatively small, and the circle of those who appreciate their work is comparatively small too, although it may be listened to without much attention by large enough congregations sometimes in churches. The Pastorale in question stamps Mr. Dawson as a thorough musician, and doubtless excellent organist. There is, perhaps, nothing very strikingly original in the theme, but it is handled both elegantly and exhaustively without any air of labour, and well varied in the middle and end by slightly florid accessory passages. The time is Moderato. There are no indications as to the stops to be used, the player being left as to that matter to his own interpretation of the ordinary marks of musical expression, and the capabilities of the instrument he may have. The piece, which is Mr. Dawson’s opus 14, is dedicated to Mr. William Faulkes, organist of St Margaret’s Church, Anfield, Liverpool.”
William Dawson continued to compose:
Liverpool Mercury – Wednesday 1 August 1888
under “New Music” – “Impromptu,” valse by W. Dawson – published by the composer. Very clever, highly effective, and well suited to concert performances.
Dr A. L. Peace had this to say about William Dawson’s Fantasia by way of a programme note before one of his recitals in 1899:
Liverpool Mercury Friday 15 September 1899
Organ recitals are to he given in St. George’s Hall to-morrow afternoon at three and to-morrow evening at eight o’clock, by Dr. A. L. Peace. A position of prominence is assigned in the programme of the evening to a fantasia of William Dawson, which introduces the Austrian National Hymn. Of this, Dr. Peace speaks thus in his own vivacious way-“This effective and brilliant paraphrase is by a well-known and talented local organist, who has published several compositions in various styles for the organ. In the course of an extended introduction the Hymn is incidentally touched upon, and afterwards introduced in its complete form with varied accompaniment on the softer stops. After a return to the opening portion, the hymn is again introduced on a rolling pedal bass,leading up to an exceedingly effective coda, or wind-up, which brings the Fantasia to an animated close.”
In one of the few histories recounting Faulkes’ complete music education, the line goes Ellen Faulkes, then William Dawson then Henry Ditton Newman.
Organists at St Margaret’s Anfield
The organ was also designed by Audsley and built by Messrs. Wm. Hill and Co.
There had been two organists before Faulkes. The first recorded organist was November 25 1873 to March 10 1879 – Henry Ditton Newman – see above. The second organist April 1879 to February 1 1886 was Charles Edward Butcher.
Charles Edward Butcher was a highly respected musician and was a native of Wath-on-Dearne, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After St Margaret’s, the following will be of interest: (Liverpool Mercury Saturday 22 May 1886).”Mr Charles Edward Butcher, late organist and choirmaster of St Margaret’s, Anfield, has been appointed organist of St Ann’s Church, Aigburth, There were over 50 applicants for the post.”
Further evidence of Charles Edward Butcher’s life and musicianship are found in other articles over a twenty year period. Here is an interesting selection: Sheffield Daily Telegraph Friday 19 March 1869
RESTORATION OF WATH PARISH CHURCH.–A series of services in connection with the re-opening of Wath Parish Church began yesterday afternoon, when a large and respectable congregation attended. Mr. Charles Butcher, organist of St. Luke’s, Liverpool, presided at the organ, and evidenced much taste and skill testing the capabilities of the fine instrument, which was presented to he church by the late Wm. Carr, esq. (more) :
Liverpool Mercury Fri 27 Aug 1869 Marriage: August 25, at St. Luke’s, by the Rev. Canon Gore, M A, Mr. Charles Edward Butcher, of this town, to Miss Kathleen Morris Muller, of Prees, near Shrewsbury :
Liverpool Mercury Friday 13 October 1871 There was a service in connection with the Harvest Festival at St. Luke’s Church last night. The church was crowded and many were unable to obtain seats. The music appointed for the service was sung by the Liverpool Church Choir Union, and the choirs which took part in the service were – St Luke’s, St. Nathaniel’s, St Catherine’s (Edgehill), St Chrysostom’s, St Catherine’s (Abercromby-square), St John’s (Haymarket), Christ Church (Kensington), Holly Trinity (Walton Breck), St Margaret’s, Christ’s Church (Linnet-lane), Holy Innocents’, St Matthew’s (Scotland-road), St Titus’s (Grassendale), St Anne’s (Stanley), Christ Church (Bootle), St Clement’s (Windsor), St Saviour’s (Huskisson-street), St Anne’s (Rainhill), Walton Parish Church, St Columbus’s, West Derby Parish Church, St Nicholas’s, St Peter’s, All Souls and St Andrew’s. The strength of the choirs was about 250 voices, and under the direction of Dr. R. W. Crowe, the choir master, the music was capitally rendered. Mr C. E. Butcher, the organist of St Luke’s, officiated at the organ.
Liverpool Mercury Thursday 3 April 1873 BALLAD CONCERT. – On Tuesday evening, a concert was given at the Philharmonic Hall in aid of the building fund of the English Presbyterian Church, Catherine street. The programme was almost entirely composed of ballad music, the vocalists being Miss Edith Wynne, Miss Chadwick, Mr. Bywater, and Mr Maybrick*. Miss Wynne, who undoubtedly may be placed a the head of English ballad singers of the present day, sang with her accustomed brilliancy, and the other artistes also acquitted themselves in a manner which won for them the hearty approval of the audience. The solos of Mr. John Thomas, harpist to the Queen, were welcomed with avidity, and the renowned musician never better developed the beauty and delicacy of his instrument. Mr. C. E. Butcher was the piano-forte accompanyist (sic). The audience, we regret to say, was limited, considering the attractive nature of the concert. (*Probably Michael Maybrick (1841-1913) who was born in Liverpool and wrote under the name “Stephen Adams” and contributed “The Holy City” to the Ballad repertoire).
Liverpool Mercury Tuesday 5 June 1888 DEATH OF A MUSICIAN.- Mr. C. E. Butcher, who was known as a teacher of music, whose work was invariably attended with success in Liverpool, expired at his residence, Geneva-road, Fairfield, on Sunday morning. Mr Butcher, who had held some very important organ appointments here and elsewhere, was about 45 years of age, and his death was caused, after only a very brief illness, by congestion of the lungs.
(Before 21 Jan 1844, Wath on Dearne, West Riding of Yorkshire – 3 June 1888, Liverpool, Lancashire)
Faulkes as a recitalist
Faulkes inaugurated a series of recitals at St Margaret’s, Anfield. Here is the notice from the Liverpool Mercury, Monday 19 November 1888: A new series of organ recitals is to be started at the Church of St. Margaret, Anfield, on Saturday next, by Mr. William Faulkes. A good programme is published, and, the organ of the church being one of the finest in Liverpool, the performances to be given should be notable.
The notice continues as follows: “The mention of the name of St. Margaret’s is a reminder that Mr. Thornborough, the leading tenor of the other church in Prince’s-road dedicated to this saint, is to benefit by a concert given during the present week. The concert is given under the aegis of the Rev. Bell-Cox and Mr Branscombe“.
Clearly there were plenty of organ recitals in Liverpool at this time, as the following jaded and dismissive notice from the same paper shows: “There is a small heap of programmes of organ recitals to hand, given by Mr. Stammers, at St. Agne’s (sic), Liverpool, and St. Patrick’s, Oldham; by Mr. Branscombe at Christ Church, Claughton, and at St, Margaret’s, Prince’s. road, and Mr. Faulkes at the namesake church. Anfield. Together with several others Mr. Roberts recited at St. Chad’s, yesterday, but did not open that organ, as was stated. The inaugural performance was given some time ago by Mr. S. C. Ridley*”. (Liverpool Mercury Monday 17 December 1888). (*Ridley’s piano music enjoyed a considerable vogue until the 1940s).
Faulkes’ Recital Programmes
Liverpool Mercury – Saturday 8 October 1894
SUNDAY ORGAN RECITALS – The first for the present season of the Sunday organ recitals at St. George’s Hall took place yesterday afternoon. Mr. William Faulkes, organist of St. Margaret’s Church, Anfield, being at the instrument. There was a large audience, who greatly appreciated the rendering of the various selections. The programme was as follows:- Marche Solennelle, Alphonse Mailly; Allegretto in (B minor), Alex. Guilmant: Toccata and Fugue (D minor), Bach; Communion in G (No. 7 of Twelve Organ Pieces), William Faulkes; Offertoire (F major op. 3), Lefebure Wely; (a) Chant Pastorale, Th. Dubois; b) Andantino D flat major), A Chauvet; and Finale to the Sixth Organ Symphony, Widor
Liverpool Mercury Saturday 20 October 1894
ST. GEORGE’S HALL, Liverpool.- PROGRAMME of the ORGAN RECITAL by Mr. WILLIAM FAULKES, Organist of S.Margaret’s Church. Anfield, Liverpool. This SATURDAY AFTERNOON, the 20th inst – A Selection of English Organ Music-Toccata for the organ (F Sharp Minor), J.L. Hatton; Andante (Six Organ Pieces, No.1 B flat major, Hy. Smart; Choral Song and Fugue, S. S. Wesley; Cantilene in A (Twelve Organ Pieces No. 5 ), W. Faulkes; Fantasia in E flat (Six Concert pieces, No. 1), W. T Best; Andante in A Flat (from the Third Organ sonata), W. Dawson; Solemn March in E flat, Hy. Smart. Admission Sixpence. To commence at Three o’clock. The concert lasts one hour.
ST GEORGE’S HALL, Liverpool – Programme of the Organ Recital by WILLIAM FAULKES, Organist of S. Margaret’s Church, Anfield, Liverpool. This SATURDAY EVENING., the 20th inst – A SELECTION OF POPULAR MUSIC. Overture, “Le Pre Aux Clercs” Herold; Idylle Ecossaise for the organ, Charles H Fogg (arranged by the composer from the entr’acte for oboe and strings); Concertante (C major), Handel (Allegro, Largo, Fugue; Offertoire in E minor (Twelve Organ Pieces, No. 6), W. Faulkes; Concert Variations on “The Harmonious Blacksmith,” F. Lux; (a) Canzone in A minor, Alex Guilmant; (b) Menuetto for the organ, Berthold Tours; Processional March (“La Reine de Saba”) Gounod. Admission One Penny. Commences at Eight o’clock. The concert lasts one hour.
Liverpool Daily Post – Saturday 20 July 1918
ST.MARGARET’S, ANFIELD PATRONAL FESTIVAL,TO-MORROW (SUNDAY), 21st INST. 7, 8, 9 .a.m. (Choral) – Holy Communion 11 a.m.— Matins and Sermon. Preacher: REV. C E. SIDEBOTHAM. M.A (Vicar of St, Matthew’s) 6.30 p.m. — Evensong and Sermon. Preacher; REV. A.E.SIMPSON. B.D. (Vicar of St Mary’s, Liscard) 8 p.m.- Organ Recital by Mr. WILLIAM FAULKES. Programme; 1. 5th Organ Sonata (Mendelssohn); 2. Allegretto (B minor) Guilmant); 3. Marche Religieuse (Adolphe Adam).
From “The Musical Times”
November 1 1918 – Mr William Faulkes (at) St Georges Church Everton – Allegro Cantabile and Toccata symphony 5 (Widor); Theme and Variations (Guilmant); Cantilene (Wolstenhome); St Annes (Stanley) – Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Bach); Scherzo Symphonique (Lemmens); Rhapsody on Old french Carols (Faulkes); Toccata (Gigout); March in F Sharp (Widor)
Mr William Faulkes, Parish Church Wigan, – Concert Overture in A (Maitland); Adagio (Symphony No 3) (Saint Saens); Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, (Bach); Chanson Nuptiale and Fantasia on Old Christmas Carols, (Faulkes); Pastorale in C (Boellmann); Marche Heroique, (Dubois).
Hull Daily Mail – Friday 10 June 1927
RECITAL, ON NEW ORGAN. FAMOUS LIVERPOOL ORGANIST AT ST. JOHN’S, NEWINGTON. Music lovers turned in good numbers St. John’s Church, Thursday evening, when a recital on the newly-installed organ was given the eminent player William Faulkes, organist of St. Margaret’s Church, Anfield, since 1886. The varied programme submitted amply proved the wonderful tonal qualities of the new instrument, and when played by a master hand, those present were thrilled with the possibilities of their latest acquisition. The programme consisted of a Fantasia in C Minor by Hesse, a Pastorale by Moriconi, Chauvet’s Andantino D flat (“La cloche du Soir”), Wolstenholme’s Scherzo in F, Widor’s Toccata in F, and two beautiful pieces of the organist’s own composition —a Sonata in Minor and ” Wedding Chimes.” The vocalist for the evening was Alan Marr (tenor) who rendered Mendelssohn’s Be thou faithful unto death,” and an old French carol (Liddle). During the evening the congregation- joined in singing ‘ O Praise ye the Lord,” and Angel-voices, ever singing.” Prayers were offered by the vicar, the Rev T. H. Tardrew. A second recital will be given next Thursday, when the organist will be Mr Bernard Johnson, B.A., Mus. Bac. F.R.C.O., of Nottingham. The violinist will be Miss Evelyn Alexander, of Hull.
Meeting with Alfred Hollins from “A Blind Musician Looks Back”
“I met the leading organists of Liverpool, some of whom went the length of saying that I was the only organist whose style resembled Best’s.
William Faulkes was one of those I met then for the first time. Hardly thinking he would take the question seriously, I asked him whether he would write for me a concert overture with a part which would show off a fine Tuba. The result was his brilliant Concert Overture in E flat, dedicated to me. I played it for the first time on one of my Sundays at the Albert Hall, and when I went to rehearse on the Saturday I took the copy in case there were any points I wanted to make sure of. I did not need the copy in the Hall, and thought no
more about it. When my wife and I got home, to my dismay it was missing. I felt glad it was a printed copy and not Faulkes’s manuscript (which he had also given me), but I was distressed by the loss. Fortunately, when we returned to the Hall on Sunday the missing copy was lying on the table in the console enclosure and on it was written : ” Found outside the Albert Hall.”
Friends and Pupils
William Faulkes enjoyed good relationships with all he met as far as can be ascertained.
Faulkes was highly regarded by many, both at home and overseas in Europe and the United States of America. He corresponded with many great musicians of his time and some of these letters may come to light in the future.
Faulkes dedicated works to his friends at home and overseas. Roger Ascham, the blind English musician born in 1864 was one such. He was the dedicatee of Faulkes Overture in F. Ascham was music master at the Girls’ Collegiate School and organist of Trinity Church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was also town organist there at the Feather Market Hall. In 1934, Ascham gave a recital entirely devoted to Faulkes’ music a year after Faulkes’ death. This recital was broadcast around the world.
Faulkes taught at his home. Among his personal friends was Arthur Wormald Pollitt.
Faulkes was presented with a Rushworth and Dreaper Apollo Reed organ by the congregation of St Margaret’s church.
Among Faulkes’ pupils was also a Miss E M Harrison. Although we cannot confirm this exactly, it appears that this may have been the sister of one Reginald (later Rex) Harrison. Miss Harrison befriended Faulkes and helped him to compile a catalogue of his works. In addition, she made a scrapbook of cuttings about William Faulkes’ life.
The Wm. Hill Organ in St Margaret’s, Anfield
“The organ has the reputation of being the largest in the city, and is well balanced in every department. The pedal organ is large and weighty, having an open stop of 32ft and three open stops of 16ft. On the manuals there are three 16ft stops.” The details of all the instruments are available on the National Pipe Organ Registry.
During the time that the organ in St Margaret’s was being rebuilt in the 1920s by Rushworth and Dreaper of Liverpool, Faulkes played the piano for church services and gave recitals. Faulkes was a fine pianist and had all the Beethoven Sonatas under his hand. Piano recitals would sometimes follow the evening service at St Margaret’s.
Relationship with W T Best
Throughout the 1890s, Faulkes also deputised for W. T. Best (August 13th 1826 – May 10th 1897) at St George’s Hall Liverpool, where Best was organist. Unfortunately, Best became ill in late 1893 and by February 1894 was ready to stand down. At this crucial time, the following letters were received at the end of February 1894 by the Liverpool Mercury, who printed them. Some controversy was caused which disturbed and upset Faulkes, he himself writing to that newspaper in what – for him – might be classed as strong terms. (Interestingly and as an example of Faulkes’ open-heartedness, he does not write under a pseudonym).
Reading the letters, one wonders what was at work here? Was somebody trying to trip Faulkes up? And if so, why so? Judge for yourselves:
Liverpool Mercury Wednesday 21 February 1894
ST. GEORGE’S HALL ORGAN. TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY: Gentlemen,-Now that the eminent organist who has so long and so worthily filled the arduous position at this instrument is about to retire, it may not be inopportune to consider the best means of aiding the popularity of the Saturday organ recitals. On a recent occasion I was present at one of these performances, and the poor attendance there was no doubt attributable to the fact that the programme, taking it as a whole, was not a popular one, although it was styled such. Those who attend these recitals know that if music of a severe and dull character – such as Bach’s fugues – is more than sparingly administered the result is a poor audience, or if the hall is well filled at the beginning of the performance many leave before the conclusion from lack of interest. On the other hand, it would be imprudent to go to the other extreme and introduce trivial pieces at the expense of propiety and dignity. Happily there is a vast repertoire of suitable music to draw from. Some of the performers who have been prvileged of late years to play a upon our grand instrument are masters not only, in manipulative skill but also in harmony as a science, and could readily “arrange from some of the best operas. Anyway, I for one say let “popular programmes” be “popular programmes” and then assuredly we shall have our magnificent hall well-filled on Saturday evenings despite the many surrounding attractions. ORGANIST, Anfield, Feb. 17, 1894.
In the same edition:
MR. BEST’S RETIREMENT. TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY Gentlemen,-To an outsider it appears that a certain proverb relating to “wells and water” will ere long be peculiarly applicable to the apathetic organ-loving folk of our good old town. How many of those who heard Mr. Best’s last recital on the 3rd instant even dreamt that they were being charmed, for possibly the last time, by one who has proved himself to be the greatest exponent of his art this century has seen? And how many of those who at that recital heard his beautiful rendering and repetition of Gounod’s “Quando a te lieta” would have cast a vote in favour of accepting the resignation which to the irreparable loss of Liverpool, has been rendered necessary through ill-health? Surely Mr. Best’s devotion to the music-loving portion of the community during such a long period should have enitled him to the utmost consideration from those in whose service he has grown grey. Could the corporation not have adopted (possibly it is not too late yet) the custom in vogue in the Scottish Church by, at such a time as this, appointing a gentleman to act as “colleague and successor” to Mr. Best? Would it not be possible for them to select one of our young Liverpool organists to fill such a position? Such a one would, while having the benefit of Mr. Best’s supervision be encouraged, in return for the confidence shown in him, to devote his lifetime, as Mr. Best has done, to the musical elevation of his fellow-citizens. If this could be arranged we would still be in a position to enjoy at intervals those recitals which have made our grand organ the centre of attraction to hundreds of visitors to the hall which is almost sacred in the eyes of every true-hearted “Dicky Sam.” Has the generous spirit which pervaded the people of Liverpool when they erected St. George’ Hall died with them? Surely “Greater” Liverpool, to prove that the the name is not an empty sound, will in this manner do something, and that soon, to show their appreciation of Mr. Best’s unrivalled ability. COUPLER Liverpool, February 20 1894.
Liverpool Mercury Thursday 22 February 1894
THE ST.GEORGES HALL ORGAN – TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY. Gentlemen,-I agree with “Couplers” suggestion as to the selection of Mr. Best’s successor, and think he should be selected from some of our Liverpool organists. Last Saturday evening I attended the organ recital given by Mr. H. A. Branscombe, and I am of the opinion that the splendid audience was due to the fact that the programme was a popular one, and of all round excellence. I think it would increase the attendance very materially if in future we were to have some music from popular operas. MUSICIAN.
Liverpool Mercury Friday 23 February 1894
ST. GEORGE’S HALL ORGAN. TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY. Gentlemen,-I am sure all true lovers of music will endorse the remarks of “Coupler,” in to-day’s issue of your paper. Still, his pleading presents grave difficulties. None but Mr. Best could decide who is the “young organist” entitled to such prominence; and what heartburnings it would raise amongst such men as Messrs. Burstall, Branscombe, Faulkes, Grimshaw, Howarth, &c. The only practicable solution is to throw the appointment open to competition with such masters as Best, Stainer, and Bridge as umpires. To offer it to anyone – whether Scotch, Irish, Welsh, or English – would be a scandal and an apparently “put up job,” even were it offered to the usual eminent “foreigner.” I am sorry for your other correspondent, the Anfleld “Organist.” If Bach’s music is dull and heavy, perhaps our city fathers would do better to sell the magnificent work of Willis, and with the money so obtained, purchase, say fifty, or better, a hundred street pianos. These, occupying the grand hall, could give pantomime ditties and operatic rubbish in one grand(?) unison, or mixed, as the hearers desired. Evidently good organ music is a forbidden paradise to many. ANOTHER ORGANIST. Waterloo, February 21, 1894.
REPLY BY WILLIAM FAULKES
Liverpool Mercury – Saturday 24 February 1894
ST. GEORGE’S HALL ORGAN
TO THE EDITORS OF THE LIVERPOOL MERCURY
Gentlemen, – My attention has been directed to a letter in your issue of the 21st, in which your correspondent, who advocated popular music for Saturday evenings and complains of Bach’s fugues being dull, signs himself “Organist, Anfield.” I regret to find that there is an impression that I was the writer of the letter. Why? I cannot surmise. Probably through my connection with the most prominent church in Anfield, but most certainly not through any performance of mine. I need hardly say that I disagree with the writer entirely, and shall feel obliged if you will kindly insert this letter. WM. FAULKES, Organist of S. Margaret’s, Anfield, 23, Rocky-lane, Feb. 23, 1894.
Ultimately, although Best thought highly of Faulkes – and many expected that Faulkes would take over from him – Faulkes was not confirmed in the post. After some speculation, the post was opened to competition. Faulkes did not apply as he found competition distasteful.
“If you have nothing to say – say nothing” – written in William Faulkes’ notebook.
William Faulkes is very much a composer for the people.
Sometimes Faulkes wrote music intended for a parish organist to play at the local church – in the time when the parish organist would be a competent musician who might give an annual recital (in addition to his weekly voluntaries).
Birmingham Daily Post – Monday 02 September 1895
Twelve Pieces for the Organ, by William Faulkes (published by the author, Liverpool).-The composer adopts titles as Grand Choeur, Elevation, Cantilene, Offertoire, and Communion for his pieces, and his music combines something of the lightness of the French and Italian styles with the solidity of the English organ school. He is evidently an accomplished player as well as a skilful writer. All the pieces are musicianly, and we single out for a special word of praise the Pastorale No. 3 which is very effective, and the Toccata No. 4, which is an excellent piece of work. It is based upon an ancient theme, generally considered to be a Jewish melody, the one employed by Costa in the overture to “Eli”. The opening, with the melody in the pedal, is very striking, and the whole admirably worked out. We can commend these pieces to the notice of organists.
Some of Faulkes’ music is written with a recitalist in mind – such as it might originally have been himself, or Edwin Lemare, Charles-Marie Widor, Clarence Eddy, Alfred Hollins, William Spark who amongst many others were dedicatees of specific works.
Faulkes’ recital music is also written for large audiences at public recitals in public halls, such as St George’s Hall in Liverpool, or many of the large town halls in the UK and public venues in America, Australia and South Africa.
Some of Faulkes’ music is contemplative, quiet and intensely personal and private. Sometimes these pieces are reflective in a religious way. Otherwise, they express regret and quiet reflection.
For the most part, Faulkes’ work is exuberant, hopeful, aspirational and elevating and even jolly. He writes happy melodies and cheerful diatonic and chromatic harmony.
Faulkes also follows romantic classical and baroque models like the sonata, minuet and trio, prelude and fugue.
Faulkes composed for his family and friends to play and for the Anfield Orchestral Society.
In addition to original compositions, Faulkes also made many arrangements of well-known pieces for example: piano pieces, orchestral music and songs.
His music features strongly in the ‘colour’ albums series of Schott and Co – until Goss Custard assumes editorship.
Difficulties and Considerations in Performance
That Faulkes’ music is difficult to play is also not in dispute. Much of it is at variance with present-day techniques of organ playing. Amongst the difficulties may be cited the legato required; a technique for broken chords and arpeggiated passages; infrequent awkward hand stretches and unwritten sustains; formal considerations and difficulties in shaping works; applications of rubato and rallentando which are not indicated in the copy but would be understood and taken as read at the time; also that some melodies can pall over time if played too long with the same registration, especially those passages in octaves in the right hand. Another real consideration is the availability of suitable instruments.
Where to start with William Faulkes’ music
A good starting point is the Berceuse (G Major). This also exists in manuscript form for orchestra, arranged by William Faulkes for his Anfield Orchestral Society. The chordal coda gives plenty of scope for expression as well as showing one a Faulkes’ compositional trademarks. Tempo is crucial – too fast and you wake the baby; too slow and you might put yourself to sleep. Take care with the pedal line – try to make it light by careful registration. Use the swell pedal carefully in the first bar to convey the gentle imperceptible movement of starting to rock a cradle. Above all this is tender, gentle music to serenade a baby to sleep, so make it so!
Faulkes’ manuscripts and his handwriting
Both of these things are clear. Faulkes’ own handwriting was not flowery copperplate in the manner of many people born in the 19th century. Rather it was clear and legible without difficulty. The same quality applies to final copies of his musical works – which can be played from. Generally, Faulkes’ manuscripts are all written in violet ink with at least two pens using different nibs. Rough work, as seen from his remaining notebooks, was always completed in pencil. Faulkes must have been a very quick writer because the shapes of the notes being extremely quickly drawn, so much so that they appear as tiny pencil hooks on the stave. The speed of the writing is such that the hook (for the dot of the note) is as one with the stem, thus a crotchet (quarter note) gives the appearance of a miniature walking stick.
Serious Illness and Nervous Breakdown
However, the latest manuscript book marks a change. A rough pencil draft shows that Faulkes was working with the Londonderry Air with a view to using it in November. The notes are written by a very infirm hand, suggestive of palsy or shaking. In the “Musical Courier” – an American Magazine – for August 26th 1920, the following note appears:
“The friends of William Faulkes, the accomplished composer and organist of St. Margaret‘s, Anﬁeld – and their name is legion – will be sorry to learn of his serious illness and nervous breakdown. Mr. Faulkes has been connected with St. Margaret’s for some thirty-ﬁve years and is highly respected both as a man and as a musician. W. J. B.”
In all, Faulkes’ manuscripts are works of art and are all exemplary.
Contemporary reviews of Faulkes’ compositions
Musical Times May 1913 – Review – Mr Faulkes’s work is always interesting, and written with unerring instinct for organ resources and effect. His “Postludium” No 5 contains much that is effective both contrapuntally and with regard to harmonic progression
Musical Times April 1 1903 – Mr William Faulkes had written a very melodious composition in his Minuet and Trio (in F); it would make a pleasing recital piece
MT Vol 45 No 735 May 1 1904 – Mr William Faulkes has written some jubilant strains in his “Scherzo Symphonique Concertante” (in C, triple rhythm) which have the merit of not being too exacting from an interpretative point of view: the trio theme, in F, adds to the attrativeness of this useful ‘out’ voluntary. From the pen of the same composer we have a Prelude and Fughetta in F minor. The prelude contains much semiquaverous energy and some double pedal notes, the latter involving wide stretches. The diatonic subject of the fugue and its subsequent treatment will doubtless prove acceptable to players of technical ability.
MT Vol 68 No 1012 June 1 1927 – Review p425 et seq …Apparently William Faulkes is the first to think of it, the result being a Festal Postlude, entitled ‘ Alleluya,’ rather easy to play, and decidedly attractive.…
Feb 1905 …The name of Mr. William Faulkes figures so frequently in organ recital programmes that any fresh product of his pen is sure to command attention. Here is a Fantasia (in A minor) of the maestoso species, full of go, with a fugal episode, the whole ending m the tonic major key, and containing the elements of attractiveness in the hands of a non-stodgy player.
Some reviews of Faulkes’ Music Played by other musicians
Advertisement in the Liverpool Daily Post for 27 November 1918:
“Rushworth Hall Tomorrow at 1.15
Tobin Piano-forte Trio
Mr John TOBIN, Piano-forte
Mr John LAWSON, Violin
Mr Walter HATTON, ‘Cello
All British Programme
Trio in C Minor Op 71 Wm. Faulkes
Sonata No.1, in D Minor John Ireland
Four Trio Op. 26 Ernest Austin
Admission 8d (tax included) Smoking Allowed
Concert Direction RUSHWORTH & DREAPER, Ltd.”
Here is the next day’s review in the same newspaper:
Liverpool Daily Post Thursday 28 November 1918
THE TOBIN TRIO. So far as British music should be reflective of the national character, the best piece in tho Tobin Trio’s Rushworth Hall recital, yesterday, was certainly that of Mr. William Faulkes, of Liverpool. It was most British in the sense that it waa entirely unsophisticated and “healthy.” Nothing was abstruce or cumbersome, and the composer’s purpose seemed to be just to toss off a few random ideas without any pretence, one imagined, to depth or originality. Its style was old-fashioned, but its spirit was hearty and vigorous, while the end of it all was refreshingly like a curtain climax in opera. Compared with Mr. Faulkes’s breezy open-air music, the sonata of Mr. Ireland had the restless agitation almost of soul in purgatory, though the fact that only the first movement was played left one in doubt whether the melancholy Mr. Ireland did eventually find a happy solution to his ” enigma.” It was wonderfully clever its craftsmanship which the preceding work was not—but how cold and remote its humanity! Then there was trio of Mr. Ernest Austin. Here one was carried more into the romantic atmosphere. The music, though rich and warm, lacked a little in variety, and the slender material was too freely explored. Listening to these three diversified works, one wondered whether British music has any common denominata(sic) at all, or whether there is any bond that unites its members together. At least the players were in harmony. Messrs. J. Tobin. J. Lawson, and W. Hatton were a stimulating partnership, and there were zest and freshness wherever these elements were possible.
Did William Faulkes meet Robert Hope-Jones?
It is interesting to speculate that Faulkes may have had some dealings with Robert Hope Jones, although he may have been warned off by W T Best who was not kindly disposed towards H-J to say the least. One item of Faulkes music shows the use of a thumbed down held note in the right hand. This is consistent with the second-touch principle of H-Js organs. What is more interesting is that this thumbdown is written on a fourth stave and is not in any way related to the use of thumb down that E H Lemare used for example in Andantino in DFlat in that it does not double the melody. Its use only appears in the one composition too.
Contributory composer to Carol Book
“Weds Sept 30th 1925 – National Institute For The Blind – New Selection of Christmas Carols – Messrs Novello and Co have just published for the NIB a selection of Christmas Carols, the music of which has been specially composed and dedicated to the furtherance of the work of the Institute.
In former years the words and music of the carols issued have been written and composed entirely by blind poets and musicians. This year however, a departure has been made and a number of eminent musicians, recognizing the value of the work carried on by the institute on behalf of the blind, have composed all the music for the present set of six carols.
They include Mr Norman Cocker (sub organist of Manchester Cath); Mr G D Cunningham FRCO (city organist Birmingham); Mr William Faulkes (organist of St Margaret’s Anfield); Mr T W Hanforth Mus Bac (organist of Sheffield Cath); Mr Arthur Meale (organist of the Central Hall Wesminster); and Dr William Prendergast (Winchester Cath).
A free grant of copies of this booklet of carols will be made to church choirs or carol parties willing to set apart a collection in aid of the work of the Naitonal Institiute. Applications for free copies (stating how many required) should be addressed to the secretary Music Department, National Institute for the Blind, 224 Great Portland Street, London W1”.
Faulkes’ view of himself
Self-effacing: it is a characteristic of William Faulkes that he appears not to have referred to himself as a composer. For example, on a piece of music sent as a complimentary copy (copy in author’s possession) to Dr E Bunnett, Norwich (organist of St Peter Mancroft, Norwich), Faulkes has stuck a label on the music on which he has written “With the Author’s Kind Regards”.
On census forms, in accordance with the customs of the time, Faulkes styles himself “Professor of Music” later “Teacher of Music” or “Organist and Music Professor”. The use of this honorific by many private music teachers would cause a little controversy after the first world war and led to a few cobwebby comments amongst the crustier letters from the more crabby correspondents to several dusty and arid editions of “The Musical Times”.
Faulkes in Freiburg and Recording for Welte
Before the First World War, Faulkes was invited by Edwin Welte and his brother in law Karl Bockisch to record his own music and that of others, at the Welte Factory in Freiburg-im-Breisgau. Starting in 1913 and finishing in 1924, Faulkes made the journey several times and recorded 29 rolls. These rolls are now in the Swiss National Museum in Seewen and can be played on an original Welte organ – similar to the one on which Faulkes recorded – which is also in the Swiss National Museum. This organ was built by the Welte concern for HMHS Brittanic. However, it never made its way to Belfast because of the outbreak of hostilities. Faulkes wrote of his experience. All of Faulkes’ rolls (recordings) came to light in the 1990s and some have been reproduced on CD.
Publishers: Faulkes’ music was printed by a variety of publishers, including himself – see below – Schott and Sons; Novello and Co; Banks and Son; Oliver Ditson and Co; Weekes; Paxton; Chappell and Co
Self-published: After Faulkes had won the Incorporated Society of Musicians (Northern Section) prize for composition in 1892, he produced a volume of 12 pieces for organ. These he had published privately by Schott and Sons of Mainz. The outlines of the cover and the inner leaves were most attractively engraved by Oscar Brandstetter (copy in possession of the author). The volume also attracted subscribers and these are all named inside. Each of the twelve pieces bears a personal dedication and thus begins a characteristic that Faulkes carried on all his life. The volume and the prize-winning piano pieces were all available from “The Author, 23 Rocky Lane, Anfield”. The position of the inverted commas giving away the origin of the print. Ultimately, all these titles were available from Schott.
Faulkes on the early BBC Radio
Here are some programme details of two broadcasts made by Faulkes – although one or maybe both make use of his Welte rolls. The C H Trevor broadcast in 1934 is particularly interesting and the Herbert Westerby broadcast from Belfast would have been a fine concert using a most interesting Walcker organ. (This church was demolished about 1992)
Sunday 30 September 1923 – 4.30pm (2LO London)
“Angelus” from “Scènes Pittoresques” (Massenet), as played by BALDWIN. Larghetto in F sharp minor (S. S. Wesley), as played by W. FAULKES. Suite Gothique, Opus 25 (L. Boellmann), as played by P. HINDERMANN. “Softly Awakes My Heart”, from “Samson and Delilah”, arranged by FRANZ. Triumphal March (J. Callarts), as played by COMPOSER.
Announcer: C. A. Lewis.
Sunday 14 October 1923 – 3.00pm (2LO London)
RECITAL ON THE STEINWAY-WELTE REPRODUCING ORGAN AT THE STEINWAY HALL LONDON.
3.0.-THE ORGAN: Lohengrin, Prelude to Act III. and Bridal Chorus (Wagner-Lemare), as played by Lemare; Arcadian Idyll, “Serenade, Musette, Solitude,” Op. 52 (Lemare), as played by the Composer; Sonata in F minor, Op. 65, No. I. (Mendelssohn), as played by Lemare. MISS GWEN GODFREY, Soprano: “A Birthday ” (Frederic H. Cowen); “A Silhouette” (Ellen Tuck-Held); “Dream Days” (Melville Gideon). MISS CONSTANCE IZARD, Solo Violin: “Chaconne” (Bach) ; “Viennese Folk Song” (Gaetner). THE ORGAN: Aria, “He Shall Feed His Flock” (Handel), as played by Prof. Nater; “Wedding Song” Op. 154, No. 2 (Faulkes), as played by the Composer ; Arcadelt’s “Ave Maria” (Liszt), as played by Prof. Nater ; Evening Song (Schumann-Guilmant), as played by Hindermann ; Improvisation, introducing Harp and Bell Effects (Lemare), as played by the Composer. MISS GWEN GODFREY, Soprano : “Fairy Shopping” (Maud Craske Day) ; “I Love the Moon” (Paul Rubens) ; “A Wee Bit Shy” (Noel Johnson). MISS CONSTANCE IZARD, Solo Violin : “La Chasse” (Cartier); “Legende” (Wieniauski). THE ORGAN : “Christmas Song” Op. 82 (Lemare), as played by the Composer ; “Piece Heroique,” No. 3 (Cesar Franck ), as played by Hindermann ; Scherzo in F major (Hofmann), as played by Lemare; Tannhauser Overture (arr. for reproduction by M. Welte ).
ANNOUNCER: G. C. BEADLE.
Friday 19 January 1934 – 12.00 noon (2BE Belfast)
An Organ Recital
by HERBERT WESTERBY
Relayed from The Grosvenor Hall
The Music of William Faulkes
Prelude in D minor
Variations in A minor Berceuse in G
Minuet in B minor
Finale (Sonata in A minor)
Sunday 1 July 1934 – 4.50pm (National Programme)
A Light Organ Recital
by C. H. TREVOR
From The Concert Hall, Broadcasting House
WILLIAM FAULKES, who died on January 21 last year, was a Liverpool organist of renown. He was born in 1863 and his first church was that of St. John the Baptist; in 1886 he took the post of organist at St. Margaret’s, Anfield, in Liverpool, and held the position until his death forty-six years afterwards. A memorial to him was unveiled in St. Margaret’s Church on the anniversary of his death. Faulkes was a composer for the organ of some distinction, and hundreds of his compositions have been published.
Faulkes’ remaining manuscripts
1st May 1941 – Library in Liverpool hit by bombs and over 150,000 books destroyed. Much of Faulkes’ music may have been a casualty of this raid. Though Faulkes reputedly left many manuscripts in Liverpool Library, what is now there is the little that was gathered from the collections of his friends after the war.
Both the piano concerto and the violin concerto bear resemblances to classical models, perhaps Mozart. The orchestra used is single wind without brass or horns. The dramatic cantatas are also there; as is the song composed for the 700th anniversary of the city of Liverpool. Contrary to popular surmise and belief, there is no unpublished organ music in the Liverpool library.
P90 Report of the library of Congress for the Fiscal year ending 30th June 1914 thanks also given to Mr Arthur P Schmidt for giving mss of original comps to the library – included is Faulkes William – Six Pieces for the organ op 128
Faulkes the composer – a short analysis of one piece
It is true that Faulkes music fits no particular school. Both he and it stand aloof. Although Faulkes’ music can be challenging, it is very good to listen to when played well. It is tonal and resourceful and generally well-constructed.
Perhaps we need to know more about Faulkes and his circumstances in order to appreciate his music more fully. So let us look carefully at a piece of music by Faulkes because it contains an enigma. The piece is “Nocturne in D” dedicated “To J. Warren Andrews, Esq., New York”.
A founder of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), J. Warren Andrews was born 1860 in Lynn, Mass. Having held his first organist post at the age of 12, he was appointed to the Church of the Divine Paternity (Unitarian), New York in 1898. He was still in office when he died January 18th 1932, having also been Warden of the AGO from 1913 to 1916. The church still stands, nowadays renamed as the Fourth Universalist Society of New York.
One chord in the piece is uncharacteristic of Faulkes, in that it is not playable in the normal way. Although many criticisms have been levelled at Faulkes’ music, they have never included any that pointed out that any of the chords were unplayable.
The chord in question is in bar 107, in the left hand. It consists of B;D# and the C# above. Because of this, it is my contention that Faulkes transposed this piece into D, having composed it in C. Why the change?
Well, contention again: the new 1898 organ at the Church of the Divine Paternity, IV/60 George S. Hutchings & Co., Op. 431 contains only a resultant 32′. Faulkes’ Nocturne, when written in C contains one note, (bars 69 to 72) where a 32′ would be indicated. Maybe the resultant 32′ was not satisfactory and it was too late to write a new piece. Faulkes may well have agreed to the piece being transposed to avoid the offending (and on many other instruments, absent) note and nothing more might have been said. The new difficulty with chord in bar 107 having been perhaps overlooked.
Faulkes manuscripts to hand?
We cannot check the manuscript yet because we have no idea where it is. Yet I am sure that this is all correct. Faulkes was always so particular to make his music accessible and this chord is so uncharacteristic. The whole piece plays and sounds more comfortably in C. Was there an exchange of letters? I wonder in what terms they were couched? Let us hope they were friendly.
For above all, William Faulkes seems to have been a friendly family man. He is buried in Anfield Cemetery
Not a wealthy man
William Faulkes died in January 1933. According to the Directory of Wills and Probate for that period, he left property to the value of £210/8s/4d to his wife, Keturah Alice, known as Kate.
George William Henry Faulkes November 4 1863 – January 21 1933
1st wife Constance Emma Rebecca Henderson October 1867 – 25 July 1897
Children Richard William Faulkes July 5 1891 – February 18 1942
Constance Kathleen Faulkes February 1 1894 – January 3 1966
George Arthur Faulkes January 5 1897 – December 1897
2nd wife Keturah Alice Lodge April 1874 – February 18 1945
Child John Sebastian Faulkes August 26 1904 – December 1973
Faulkes’ list of compositions (incomplete)
Opus MS/PUB Title Key Forces Date
3 MSS Polonaises PNO DUET
11 MSS Songs of the Months Feb 1884
12 Three Rondos PNO SOLO
15 PUB Three Pieces VN + PNO 1890
16 MSS Six Pieces VC PNO
18 MSS Concerto c PNO+ORCH 1891
19 MSS Piano Trio 1 D 1891
20 MSS Suite c FL OB TPT VN VN VA VC CB PNO 1892
21 MSS 12 Short Studies for Piano PNO SOLO
29 MSS Concerto a VN+ORCH 1892
31 MSS Album Four Pieces VA+PNO 1893
32 MSS Piano Trio 2 g 1893
33 PUB Romance VN+ORCH 1893
37 MSS Introits
43 MSS Communion Service B flat
46 MSS Twelve Short Duets VN+VA 1899
47 MSS March C BRS 4tet + ORG 1899
55 MSS Communion Service D
71 MSS Pno Trio 3 c PNO Trio 1904
78 MSS Two Pieces VC+PNO
79 MSS Caprice PNO SOLO
84 MSS Sonata e VN + PNO 1905
94 PUB Wedding March ORG 1906
94 PUB Funeral March ORG 1906
95 PUB Ballad C ORG 1906
96 PUB Caprice ORG 1906
99 MSS Piano Trio 4 a 1906
100 PUB Two Studies ORG 1908
101 PUB Five Pieces ORG 1906
102 PUB Theme and Variations E ORG 1907
103 PUB Fantasia on Old Christmas Carols ORG 1907
104 PUB Meditation F ORG
104 PUB Fantasy-fugue ORG
106 PUB Sonata 2 a ORG 1909
107 MSS Sonata D FL+PNO 1907
108 MSS Sonata 1 G VC+PNO
109 MSS Piano Trio 5 F 1907
112 PUB Fantasia on “Urbs Beata” ORG 1908
113 PUB Carillon F ORG 1908
113 PUB Spring Song ORG 1908
114 MSS Idylle D VC+PNO 23/10/1907
115 MSS Sonata 2 d VC+PNO
116 PUB Offertoire f ORG 1910
116 PUB Eventide ORG 1910
116 PUB Postlude E ORG 1910
120 PUB Pastoral Overture G ORG 1908
121 PUB Second Fantasy on Christmas Carols 1908
122 MSS Sonata 3 A VC+PNO
123 PUB Scherzo Symphonique ORG 1908
124 MSS Sonata 4 F VC+PNO
125 MSS Sonata 5 e VC+PNO
126 MSS Sonata 6 B Flat VC+PNO
127 MSS Sonata d PNO SOLO
128 PUB Six Pieces – Festival March D ORG 1909
128 PUB Communion e ORG 1909
128 PUB Fantasia b ORG 1909
128 PUB Toccatina g ORG 1909
128 PUB Canzona F ORG 1909
128 PUB Finale E flat ORG 1909
130 PUB Six Pieces – Festival Postlude G ORG 1908
130 PUB Prelude ORG 1908
130 PUB Andante Religioso ORG 1908
130 PUB Allegro Moderato ORG 1908
130 PUB Larghetto ORG 1908
130 PUB Finale a ORG 1908
131 PUB Six Preludial Pieces ORG 1909
132 PUB Six Postludial Pieces ORG 1909
133 PUB Four Pieces – Nuptial Song ORG 1910
133 PUB Grand Choeur G ORG 1910
133 PUB Meditation G ORG 1910
133 PUB March E flat ORG 1910
134 MSS Piano Trio 6 D 1909
135 PUB Fanfare ORG 1910
135 PUB Elevation ORG 1910
135 PUB Pastorale f # ORG 1910
135 PUB Reverie A ORG 1910
135 PUB Scherzo D ORG 1910
136 PUB Two Pieces – Grand Choeur E flat ORG 1910
136 PUB Chanson ORG 1910
138 PUB Marche Triomphale E ORG 1910
138 PUB Cantilena Pastorale F ORG 1910
138 PUB Elevation D ORG 1910
138 PUB Melodie E ORG 1910
138 PUB Scherzo a ORG 1910
139 PUB Prelude Heroic ORG 1910
139 PUB Carillon ORG 1910
140 PUB Three Pieces – Minuet and Trio C ORG 1911
140 PUB Communion D flat ORG 1911
140 PUB Nocturne A flat ORG 1911
142 PUB Nocturne ORG 1910
142 PUB Minuet and Trio e ORG 1910
143 PUB Theme and Variations F ORG 1911
145 PUB Postlude d ORG 1911
150 PUB Third Sonata B flat ORG 1912
151 PUB Two Pieces – Paraphrase on a Christmas Hymn ORG 1912
151 PUB Allegro Maestoso c ORG 1912
152 PUB Overture c ORG 1912
154 PUB Concert Prelude on Nun Freut Euch Lieben Christen ORG 1912
154 PUB Chanson Nuptiale ORG 1912
155 PUB Pastorale E ORG 1913
155 PUB Postlude A ORG 1913
155 PUB Scherzo d ORG 1913
157 MSS Theme (Varied) and Finale ORG 1912
161 PUB Three Preludes and Fugues ORG 1914
162 PUB Solemn Prelude A ORG 1914
163 MSS Miniature Suite c ORG
164 MSS Melodie ORG
165 MSS Grand Choeur Dialogue ORG
165 MSS Two Interludes ORG
165 MSS Andante Pastorale ORG
165 MSS Marche Nuptiale ORG
166 PUB Overture ORG 1914
168 MSS Concert Fantasia on Old Irish Airs ORG 24/11/1913
169 MSS Magnificat
170 MSS Miniatures for Piano PNO 08/12/1913
A Little Study
171 MSS Concert Fantasia on Old Scotch Airs ORG 11/12/1913
172 MSS Sonatina g VA+PNO no date
173 MSS Suite G VC+PNO
174 MSS Suite a VN+VA+PNO 1914
178 PUB Fantasia on Old Welsh Airs ORG 1925
180 MSS Quintet d VN VN VA VA VC 1915
181 MSS Suite ORCH 22/10/1915
In Waltz Time
The End of the Story
182 MSS Romance a VN+PNO 1915
183 PUB Wedding Chimes ORG
187 MSS Duo d ORG+PNO
188 MSS String Quartett c# 1916
189 MSS Octett d FL CLT HN VN VN VA VC CB 1916
190 MSS Quintett g VN VN VA VC PNO 04/12/1916
191 MSS Three Short Pieces VC+PNO
193 MSS Quartett d PNO + Strings 1917
194 MSS Suite E Flat ORG+PNO
196 MSS Allegro b VC+PNO
197 MSS Song of the Wrens (Tennyson) Voice and Piano
201 MSS Four Pieces VC+PNO
202 MSS Octett C VN VN VN VN VA VA VC VC 1919
203 MSS Sextett a PNO + Strings 1919
209 MSS Divertimento d VN+PNO 1920
212 MSS Suite in d PNO SOLO
? MSS Duo C OB and VC 1921
? MSS Miniature Impromptus on Initials Piano 1926-26/09/1927
? MSS Collection of Hymn Tunes 1876-1932 1876-1932
? MSS Magnificat A flat 14/03/1892
? MSS Nunc Dimittis A flat 17/03/1892
? MSS 12 Short Preludes for Piano G 1928
? MSS Palindromic Inverted Canon Two Pianos no date
Rebuilt organ at St Margaret’s Anfield June 1922
THE MUSICAL TIMES— July 1 1922
The organ at St. Margaret’s, Anfield, Liverpool, has been rebuilt by Messrs. Rushworth & Dreaper. The following is the specification:
Double Open Diapason 16
Open Diapason 8
Flute a Pavilion 8
Hohl Flute 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Harmonic Flute 8
Twelfth 2 2/3
Mixture 3 ranks
Open Diapason 8
Lieblich Diapason 8
Vox Angelica 8
Mixture 3 ranks
Contra Trumpet 16
Vox Humana 8
Lieblich Flote 4
Harmonic Piccolo 2
Orchestral Oboe 8
Double Open Diapason 32
Open Diapason 16
Mixture 3 ranks
6 Thumb Pistons to Great Organ.
6 Thumb Pistons to Swell Organ.
4 Thumb Pistons to Choir Organ.
I Reversible Thumb Piston for Great to Pedal Coupler.
6 Pedal Pistons to Pedal Organ.
6 Pedal Pistons acting on Swell Pistons.
I Reversible Pedal Piston for Great to Pedal Coupler.
I Stop connecting Great and Pedal Pistons.
Lever Swell Pedal to Swell Organ.
Lever Swell Pedal to Choir Organ.
The wind is generated by a ‘Discus’ Rotary Blower actuated by a
7 h.p. Electric Motor.
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