THE HEALEY WILLAN CATALOG

The earliest catalogue of the works of Healey Willan is contained in a small red book which the composer compiled and kept up to date until about 1910. Subsequently he prepared further lists, by categories, and these did service on most occasions when the body of his compositions was mentioned. He was the first to admit, however, that they were incomplete.

The present Catalogue had its origin in a list of the works of Healey Willan that I prepared for the Canadian Music Centre. During the course of this work I was able to consult Healey Willan frequently as to the history of the some of his compositions. After his death in 1968, his executor gave me permission to look at all the papers that he had left. An examination of these revealed that a large number of hitherto uncatalogued works existed in manuscript, many of which had been forgotten or lost over the years. This catalogue therefore contains information about all these works, together with revisions of previous lists of the better known works. It is as complete as it can be at the time of writing. I am sure, however, that omissions can be pointed out, and I would be most grateful to hear of any errors or oversights so that the listing may be brought up to date.

As may well be imagined, the number of people who have given invaluable help is legion. At the risk of offending some, I feel I must single out the following persons and organizations as those to whom I owe a particular debt: Mrs. Mary Mason, who has personally sorted through every scrap of paper, music or otherwise, left by her father, and has given an enormous amount of help in indexing the musical manuscripts; Michael Willan, the executor of the estate of the late Healey Willan; Raymond Martin, who has very kindly placed at my disposal his own listing of Willan’s works, begun years before mine; the late Ettore Mazzoleni, who conducted the first performances of so many of the orchestral works listed here; Professor Godfrey Ridout; Miss Margaret Gillespie; Mrs. Margaret Drynan; Albert Mahon; Fred Telschow; Edward W. Klammer; Peter Haworth; Keith MacMillan and the staff of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC); Robin Woods and the staff of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Toronto Program Archives; Ronald Napier and the staff of BMI Canada Ltd., with whom Healey Willan was associated for many years.

I am indebted to Dr. Guy Sylvestre, National Librarian, for his encouragement and cooperation. Helmut Kallmann has given invaluable assistance on bringing this Catalogue to its present form and completeness, but cannot be blamed for any of its inaccuracies or shortcomings. He has been assisted by his staff at the CBC Music Library in Toronto and latterly at the Music Division of the National Library of Canada in Ottawa. In particular, Mrs. Margaret Atherton, Michael Barnwell and Mrs. Neila Garner made significant editorial contributions; also Miss Helen Rogers of the National Library’s Bibliography Section.

 

In addition, I must record publicly my great admiration for all the publishers of Healey Willan’s music for their willingness to submit to questioning at every stage in my work. I would like to acknowledge very gratefully the assistance of the Canada Council in giving me financial support during the formative stages of the preparation of this Catalogue. And I would like to thank the Healey Willan Society and Rev. Scott A. Haynes for updating and expanding this Catalogue and for maintaining it for the use of future generations. We are witnessing a revival of interest in Willan’s music and it is hoped that scholars will re-examine much of the material. It is hoped that making this Catalogue available will contribute to this resurgence.

-Giles Bryant

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Chamber Music
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Masses
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Anthems
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Sacred Music
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Vocal Music
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Piano Music
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Canticles
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Carols
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Choral Music
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Orchestra & Band Music
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Organ Music
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Motets
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Hymns
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Songs