Sir David Willcocks

A giant has died.

Sir David Willcocks died yesterday in England.

The Telegraph has a loving obituary.

Many will write copious words about this man.  I shall simply say that I was extraordinarily blessed to take luncheon with him and his wife at their home in Cambridge three years ago (thanks to an introduction from Simon Carrington), and, seating in their drawing room, dogs snoring at our feet, to interview Sir David about his decades-long relationship with the music of Herbert Howells, his friend and colleague, 23 years his senior.  The audio recording of that conversation is one of my most cherished possessions.

Here is Sir David introducing one of his own arrangements:

Rest in peace, oh servant of God and master of the Queen’s music.


A bonus: one of Sir David’s most famous arrangements, with that wonderful last verse reharmonization and that crunchy half-diminished 7th chord —

 

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