The Symphonic Suite The Fenlands by the English composer Arthur Wills formed the pièce de résistance of the program. In this captivating and challenging composition, the composer reaches a beautiful synthesis between the brass band and its natural musical partner: the organ.
The program also contains two rarely performed organ works by the English composer Percy Whitlock: a simple Folksong and a virtuoso Divertimento. The closing movement of Camille Saint-Saens Organ Symphony forms a finale to this set.
"Just as I am" is an arrangement of a song by Wilfred Heaton, a piece from the Salvation Army repertoire. "Angels Watching Over Me", also comes from the Salvation Army, but was recorded in the studio in 2006, here included as a special bonus track.
Dr. Arthur Wills
Dr. Arthur Wills (born 1926) was Director of Music at Ely Cathedral from 1958 to 1990, and held a Professorship at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1964 until 1992. An organist with a large international reputation, he is also a composer with a prolific oeuvre. Composed in 1981, the Symphonic Suite The Fenlands had its premiere in the Ely Cathedral on October 10 of that year, performed by the Cambridge Co-operative Band with the composer as organ soloist.