Spark also used the OQJ volumes to publish his own works, including the Ancient Vesper Hymn (Theme, Variations and Fugue). The tune can be found in The Bristol Tune Book (No 215). In 1861 Spark became the first Borough Organist at Leeds Town Hall where a large instrument of 93 stops on five manuals and pedals had been installed in 1859 by Gray and Davison. It was one of the most innovative concert organs of its time, offering opportunities for a great variety of colour, as well as mechanisms for swift execution of passagework and rapid changes of registration. Spark exploits such resources to the full in this set of seven variations, of which the last is a fugal finale.
from notes by Graham Barber © 2003