The Village Organist

The Village Organist: a series of pieces for church and general use was a sequence of 48 books of organ music published by Novello and Co from 1897 onwards.

Precursor volumesEdit

The precursors to this series were two volumes also called The Village Organist. The first was published by Novello in 1870 as a stand-alone volume of:

[...] short easy voluntaries by eminent composers [...] edited by T. Richard Matthews B.A. Rector of North Coates, Great Grimsby [1826–1910[1]] [...] Here are voluntaries by Professors Bennett and Ousley, Drs. Dykes, Stainer, Elvey, Chipp and Monk and Messrs Henry Smart, G. A. Macfarren, J. Barnby, E. H. Thorne and J. B. Calkin".[2]

Apart from its thirty-nine voluntaries the volume also contained psalm chants and hymn tunes.

A second "and concluding volume",[3] also edited by T. R. Matthews, was published by Novello in 1872, issued in aid of the North Coates Church organ fund. It claimed to contain works that were "all expressly composed for it and not published in any other work".[3] It was favourably reviewed in The Musical Times of 1 August 1872 as a collection that "pleasantly exemplifies the present state of musicianship in England, and will be found valuable for practical use where short voluntaries are needed, in towns as much as in villages".[4]

As recorded by a reviewer in The Musical Times of 1 August 1872, this volume contains works by:[4]

From 1877 both books were available combined into a "New edition, complete in One Volume, 142 pages".[6]

A new seriesEdit

 
A 'highlights' contents list for 'The Village Organist' Volumes 1-16

The Musical Times of 1 March 1897 advertised the first six volumes of a new series of organ music, also called The Village Organist and also published by Novello. The editors were John Stainer and F. Cunnigham Woods, who noted that they "have eneavoured to bring together a collection of pieces ... simple, without being uninteresting and effective where the instrumental resources are limited".[7] Each volume was priced at one shilling.

Following Stainer's death in 1901 the series was edited by Cunningham Woods alone, starting with the March 1903 publication and covering books 32–43. Editorship was then taken up by John E. West starting with the February 1907 publication and covering books 44–48.

The separate books were subsequently collected into a series of volumes:

  • Volume I: books 1–6[27]
  • Volume II: books 7–12[27]
  • Volume III: books 13-18[27]
  • Volume IV:: books 19–24[27]
  • Volume V: books 25–30[27]
  • Volume VI: books 31–36[27]
  • Volume VII: books 37–42[28]
  • Volume VIII: books 43–48[26]

    External linksEdit

    Open-access copies of the completeThe Village Organist vols. 1–8, as well as the individual book 17 'Wedding Music', are available to download from the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)[29]

    ReferencesEdit

    1. ^ 'Timothy Richard Matthews1820–1910'. HymnTune.com, online resource, accessed 26 July 2021
    2. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 14, No. 329 (Jul. 1, 1870), 534–35
    3. ^ a b The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol. 15, No. 353 (Jul. 1, 1872), 546
    4. ^ a b The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 15, No. 354 (Aug. 1, 1872), 573
    5. ^ R. H. Legge, revised by Richard Turbet (2005) 'Rimbault, Edward Francis [pseud. Franz Nava (1816–1876)'. 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'. Online resource from University of London Library, accessed 26 July 2021
    6. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 18, No. 413 (Jul. 1, 1877) 355
    7. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 38, No. 650 (Mar. 1, 1897) 216
    8. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 38, No. 649 (Mar. 1, 1897) 216
    9. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 38, No. 655 (Sep. 1, 1897) 648
    10. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 39, No. 660 (Feb. 1, 1898) 138
    11. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 39, No. 667 (Sep. 1, 1898) 636
    12. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 40, No. 674 (Apr. 1, 1899) 272, 286
    13. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 41, No. 683 (Jan. 1, 1900) 7
    14. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 41, No. 689 (Jul. 1, 1900) 503
    15. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 43, No. 709 (Mar. 1, 1902) 151
    16. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 43, No. 710 (Apr. 1, 1902) 284
    17. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 44, No. 721 (Mar. 1, 1903) 213
    18. ^ The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular Vol. 44, No. 729 (Nov. 1, 1903) 767
    19. ^ The Musical Times Vol. 46, No. 751 (Sep. 1, 1905) 624
    20. ^ The Musical Times Vol. 47, No. 755 (Jan. 1, 1906) 73
    21. ^ The Musical TimesVol. 47, No. 757 (Mar. 1, 1906) 204
    22. ^ The Musical Times Vol. 47, No. 763 (Sep. 1, 1906) 636
    23. ^ The Musical Times Vol. 48, No. 768 (Feb. 1, 1907) 124
    24. ^ No announcement found of this work's publication
    25. ^ The Musical Times Vol. 48, No. 776 (Oct. 1, 1907) 682
    26. ^ a b The Musical Times Vol. 48, No. 778 (Dec. 1, 1907) 831
    27. ^ a b c d e f The Musical TimesVol. 46, No. 754 (Dec. 1, 1905) 839
    28. ^ The Musical Times Vol. 49, No. 790 (Dec. 1, 1908) 823
    29. ^ The Village Organist (Stainer, John). Online resource, accessed 26 July 2021