2014-11-23 Notes from the Bench

“Mass of the Quiet Hour” by George Oldroyd

A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James T. Gerber, Music Associate


The Mass setting sung by the All Saints’ Chamber Choir and Choral Scholars this week was
composed by the English organist and composer, George Oldroyd (1887-1956). His
compositions include Anglican church music, including numerous Mass settings, and variety of
short organ pieces. “Mass of the Quiet Hour,” composed in 1928, and dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Cosmo Gordon Lang, is Oldroyd’s best-remembered work and was written with swooping melodies and lush harmonies.



Oldroyd served the churches of St. George in Paris, St. Alban in Holborn, and St
Michael in Croydon. These churches were rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition within the
Anglican Communion which embrace the rites and traditions of Christianity’s Catholic heritage.
Oldroyd also taught music at Trinity College London and London University. He is the author
of a theoretical book on fugue and polyphony, “The Technique and Spirit of Fugue: An
Historical Study” which was published in 1948, and co-authored a manual with Charles William
Pearce (1856-1928) on plainchant accompaniment. Many of
his compositions remain part of the core repertoire of many Anglican Church choirs today.

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