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Frederic Herbert Wood (1880–1963)

For 45 years organist of Blackpool Parish Church, Frederic H. Wood (1880–1963) was a composer whose contribution to our native school of romantic organ music deserves wider recognition, in particular for his colourful suites inspired by the English countryside, of Northumberland, of Kent, and of the downland. The scenes evoked bear the strong imprint of the past – from venerable bridges and cathedrals to Roman ruins, prehistoric earthworks and Stonehenge – amidst river and valley and orchard captured in different moods and times of the day. There is plenty of craft in this music too: stirring, romantic harmonies and varied textures generously registered, with a purposeful sense of form giving strength and direction to the attractive pictorial element. The range of Wood’s other interests, which included spiritualism and the speech of ancient Egypt, suggests a fascinating individual, who was also a Doctor of Music from Durham University and a noted lecturer and adjudicator.

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