Page 70 - Stainer Crucifixion
P. 70

The printed revised edition of 1915 (S3) has been the principal source for this new edition; however, wherever there any doubtful readings, S1 has been consulted. Omission of accidentals has been corrected without comment, and all additional cautionary accidentals have been added without comment. All editorial slurs and ties are shown in dotted-line format. Editorial hairpins have a vertical slash through them. Articulation marks occurring in one hand only of the organ part are added to the other without comment. Also, in full choral sections, where, on occasion, an articulation marking is missing in one of the parts, this has been added without comment. The punctuation has generally been retained. All additional notes by the editor are shown as small notes. Editorial dynamics and additional suggestions for organ registration, the use of individual manuals and pedals are shown in square brackets. In accordance with modern editorial practice, all vocal parts include beaming. All of Stainer’s instructions for the use of manuals and pedals have been retained. Any significant variants to Stainer’s musical text and Sparrow Simpson’s text are shown in the editorial commentary.
The Crucifixion was designed to be sung liturgically as part of one of a series of special Lenten services at St Marylebone Parish Church. It is interesting to note that, at its first hearing on 24 February 1887, the church’s rector, Canon William Barker, gave a sermon halfway through the piece. Stainer also envisaged that The Crucifixion should be available to as wide a range of church choirs and organists as possible. It should therefore be possible to perform the work effectively with a small choir and an organ with one manual and pedals, though ideally, the accompaniment would work more successfully with an organ of two manuals and pedals to accommodate the solo and accompaniment work as one finds in the ‘Processional to Calvary’ and the solo arias. As we know from Nicholas Thistlethwaite’s book, Organ Building in Victorian England: The Work of Gray & Davison, 1772-1890 (pub. Boydell & Brewer, 2020), an organ was built by Gray and Davison for Marylebone Parish Church in 1884 which consisted of no less than four manuals (Great, Swell, Choir and Solo) and pedals which would have given Stainer and Hodge a wide tonal and expressive range of pipework (see pp. 494-5 for the complete organ registration). This multifarious registration explains why Stainer was able to suggest the optional use of the Tuba in the chorus ‘Fling wide the gates.’
I have included numerous editorial suggestions for dynamics and phrasing (since Stainer supplies very little in his manuscript), use of individual organ manuals and the use of pedals, though these can be ignored. The use of pedals in the hymns is recommended mainly to add weight to the choral sound of choir and congregation. For the sections involving the solo tenor and bass, individual voices from the choir can be used. However, the quasi-operatic character of them is best suited to more well-developed voices, especially if the organist is wont to use the full panoply of stops available for the accompaniment (and this is recommended to increase the dramatic effect).

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