Herbert Howells

Herbert Norman Howells ( born October 17, 1892 in Lydney, Gloucestershire, † February 23, 1983 in London) was an English composer.

Life and work

Herbert Howells was the youngest of six children of Oliver and Elizabeth Howells. His father was honorary organist, and Herbert himself showed early a promising musical talent. He studied first with Herbert Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral, as an organ student also at Ivor Novello and Ivor Gurney, a celebrated English song composers, with whom he became close friends. Later he studied at the Royal College of Music in London at Stanford, Hubert Parry and Charles Wood.

1915 when he was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, and even made ​​a life span of six months in view. Therefore, the doctors decided to provide a hitherto untried method of treatment, and he became the first patient in the UK, which was subjected to radiotherapy.

In 1917, he was temporarily assistant organist at Salisbury Cathedral, because of his serious illness, however, he was able to hold this position only briefly; later, during the Second World War, he was deputy organist at St John 's College, Cambridge.

While he was in his 20s to 30s, his compositional work was mainly focused on orchestral and chamber music, including two piano concertos. The rejection, which experienced the second concert, resulted in a temporary cessation of Howells compositional activity. Another blow was the 1935 death of his son Michael ( vary the source of information, whether by polio or meningitis). , Who met Howells to the core But this seems to have still raised a new creative phase, although Howells and his music after this life crisis were no longer the same. Although not a strict Christian, he increasingly devoted himself to the composition of sacred music. Most prominent is the hymn Paradisi for soloists, chorus and orchestra. The work was written after the death of his son, but was first performed in 1950 and published; by Howells in his own words, at the urging of his friend and mentor Ralph Vaughan Williams. It contains passages of a cappella Requiem, begun before Michael's death, but was only published in 1981 and dedicated to his memory.

Hymnus Paradisi was the first of four large-scale sacred choral works. The Missa Sabrinensis 's what extent and occupation is concerned, comparable to the Missa Solemnis by Ludwig van Beethoven, while An English Mass a much smaller cast provides widely used English text and the Anglican tradition of a service according to the Book of Common Prayer, following which Gloria is at the end. Howells Stabat Mater with a duration of approximately 50 minutes one of the longest musical works over the text.

Howells was particularly known for his extensive work in the field of Anglican church music, which includes a complete service for the King's College, Cambridge, and, among others, the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for the choirs one of Saint Paul's Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral. The motet Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing was written shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and dedicated to the memory of the President.

In his later life he became an honorary doctorate from the University of Cambridge and a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.