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English by birth, John Cook (1918-1984) spent the last 30 years of his life in Canada and the United States, where he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held an important position as organist and director of music at Boston's Church of the Advent. A musician of wide interests and experience, he worked with Vaughan Williams and Britten on film scores and wrote son et lumière music for the 1951 Festival of Britain. It is from one of those scores that Fanfare was transcribed for organ by the composer. The poetry which inspired the piece is from Psalm 81: "Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed on our solemn feast day." Fittingly, the trumpets in the Llamarada (literally translated "blaze") division of the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ, ending with the Trompeta de Los Angeles, declaim the fanfares and flourishes in Cook's energetic piece.
- Notes © 2005, Thomas Murray