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John Stanley’s primary responsibility as a church organist (for sixty-three years) was to improvise a voluntary before the first lesson, comprising an introduction and an additional movement or two for the solo stops, together with an introduction and fugue at the end of the service. Most voluntaries were never written down as compositions, and most of them are thus lost to posterity.
Of the handful that were saved, I am very glad that this Adagio and Fugue is one of them. Arranged here for brass quintet by Ralph Schwartz, it has pageantry and pomp, followed by the wonderful technically virtuosity of the fugue to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
You can give it a listen at the demo below, have a look at the score and part to the left, then grab an immediate digital download above.
Listen to Adagio and Fugue