John Speller's Web Pages Kendall, Voluntary in B minor

John Speller's Web Pages - Organ Music
Kendall, Voluntary in B minor
Edward Kendall of Falmouth, Cornwall, published a collection of Voluntaries by "Masters" of the instrument in around 1780. It is widely believed, I think erroneously, that these were actually written by Kendall himself. It is my belief that, taken at their face value, these are voluntaries which were written down by competent organists -- perhaps by well-known London organists -- for instructing their students and that such voluntaries in manuscript form were sought out and published by Mr. Kendall. Perhaps, indeed, he was one of the students himself. On the whole they are stylistically of the period 1730-1760.

This particular voluntary, in three movements, is rather perplexing, since in the original the first and third movements are in A minor and the second (Horn) movement in D major. These keys, of course, do not fit together. The Horn movement is probably right, since Horn movements in eighteenth-century English organ voluntaries, like movements for the orchestral horn, were almost invariably in either D major or F major. The key of the other two movements, A minor, is problematic since Tenor B is called for in the Cornet movement, and this would not normally be a note available on either a mid C or mid C# Mounted Cornet. I have therefore taken the liberty of transposing the first and third movements into B minor which I believe to have been their original key.

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Parish Church of King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth, Cornwall.
Photograph by Andrew Abbott, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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