Season after Pentecost, 2023
In August 2004 I made reference to a "Caeleb Semper." Oops. I was actually referring to Caleb Simper (1857-1942). (We sing his Creed at Lake Delaware Boys' Camp.)
His is a late-Victorian style that has been ridiculed by Vaughan Williams and Erik Routley.
His music was once "sung throughout the civilized world."
Victorian church composers were often not of the highest quality, and few would rank Simper with Stainer. But the fascination of Caleb Simper is his invisibility. Here was a man who sold over 5 million copies of his sheet music. Just think of that - an army of Simper anthems - yet he is practically invisible. Do a web search on Simper and you will come up with only a handful of entries. He's not in Grove, or many other musical references. Yet he clearly plucked many a Victorian and Edwardian heartstring.
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