Remembrance Music – Organist Refutes Criticism (videos)

November 1950

South Yorkshire Times, November 18, 1950

Remembrance Music

Conisbro’Church Organist Refutes Criticism

A reply was forthcoming this week from Mr W. Farmer, organist of Conisbrough Parish Church, to a complaint by Coun. D. Sheldon, at Conisbrough Urban Council meeting on Monday that music play at Conisbrough’s Remembrance Day service at the Parish Church on Sunday was “inappropriate to the occasion.”

“Very Inappropriate.”

Coun. Sheldon told the Council, “To my surprise yesterday afternoon just before the service started the organist started playing music which was very inappropriate to the occasion.”

Coun. Sheldon complained that the organist played Dvorak’s “Humoresque” and “Moonlight and Roses,” a dance tune.

He felt that something more appropriate could have been played at such a service.

In a communication to the “South Yorkshire Times,” Mr. Farmer states that he did not play “Moonlight and Roses.” “What I did play was Andantino in D-flat by E. H. Lemare. This piece was written as an organ solo in 1892, so the piece was composed long before “Moonlight and Roses” was thought of. I have to-day seen a copy of “Moonlight and Roses,” which states on the front, adapted from Lemare’s Andantino in D-flat, by permission of Novello and Co.

“Humoresque” is a light classical piece with a dignified middle section in a minor key, and it not a dance. Composed by Anton Dvorak, who wrote songs, choral works, overtures, and a few symphonies.

Dances Played In Church.

“It may interest Conn. Sheldon that dances are played In Cathedrals and Churches, not the type as used in dance halls, but the minuet bouree, sarabande, jig are all dances to be found in Bach and Handel. Any book on musical form will confirm this.

“I have been to Church all my Life and have not yet desecrated God’s House by playing or singing irreverent music,

“A good job I didn’t play Mozart Sonata In C. or I should have been accused of playing 16th century drawing room music. Even Sullivan uses the G minor fugue subject (Bach) In the “Mikado.”

The Vicar of Conisbrough, the Reverend GF Braithwaite, told a “South Yorkshire Times” reporter on Tuesday that he had received no complaints about the choice of music. He felt that the day of unrelieved gloom on these occasions was long past, and cited the playing of “Tipperary” and “Pack up your troubles” at the Cenotaph in Whitehall this year.

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