Fast Delivery to the UK

“The music arrived in the UK three days after it was posted! Superb print quality and nice weight of paper. So pleased with this service!” —United Kingdom

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New Recording of Forest Vesper

New Recording of Forest Vesper

I have added a new recording by Marko Hakanpää ont the Grönlund organ  in St Michael’s Church, Turku, Finland. See the music and listen to this sensitive performance of this nocturne on this page.

Forest Vesper by Edward F Johnston

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In the Good old Summertime

In the Good Old Summertime

How about some music to celebrate this season? Large sections of our country have been devastated by nature this Summer but still we go on with our concerts and services. A great example of rebounding from adversity is the Atlantic City Convention Hall. The enormous Midmer-Losh organ was badly damaged by the “Great Atlantic Hurricane” of 1944. Work continues to bring the entire organ back to operation.

If you have access to an organ near one of the affected areas, consider giving some of your musical talents to lift their spirits, take their minds off their enormous problems, and give them hope. An organ concert is an effective way to communicate that you care.

In Summer by Charles Stebbins

You might leave out the program poem for this one if you play it in church. Just call it “Summer Prelude.” The poem, as shown on the first page of music, begins “The plaintive piping of God Pan Floats through the shimmering haze.” I offer recordings by John Apple and Steve Schlesing.

Midsummer Caprice by Edward Johnston

This one from 1912 was based on a fragment of a poem by Milton. Edward F Johnston was an advocate for Hope-Jones as a designer and builder. He was one of the first theatre organists and played Wurlitzers in theatres while continuing to play in churches.

To close your program, you might choose something tongue-in-cheek, such as one of the Fred Feibel offerings:

Pop Goes The Weasel by Fred Feibel

or perhaps something grand:

Triumphal March from Aida by Verdi-Lemare

Headline photo from papergreat.com.

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A Popular Thunderstorm

A Popular Thunderstorm

From The Folio, December 1884. Notice that T P Ryder played “The Thunderstorm” in concert five hundred times before it was published in 1880. Wow!

Read more about this brilliant concert piece on my page of the restoration. For us here in North and South Carolina, this Summer has proved a hotbed of thunderstorms in reality. Ryder’s depiction is the first storm piece for organ published in the USA. Audiences prefer the organ depiction, I believe.

Ryder.ThunderStorm.html

Be sure to listen to David Craighead’s recording on the Mechanic’s Hall organ while you’re on that page.

Also, for your storm making pleasure, I offer these:

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Holberg Suite on Pipedreams

HolbergCover

Holberg Suite on Pipedreams

I was delighted to hear Michael Barone speak of the impact of Richard Ellsasser’s recording of his transcription on a Baldwin. You may not like the sound, but the dry studio recording shows absolutely every technical error and thereby illustrates Ellsasser’s incredible technique. I, too, was fascinated years ago by this MGM LP record. The recording chosen for Pipedreams is by Robert Bennesh on the Woolsey Hall organ.

The link to “The Suite Spot,” Episode 1633 of Pipedreams, is
pipedreams.publicradio.org/listings/2016/1633/

My restoration of Ellsasser’s transcription is available at
music/Grieg-Ellsasser.FromHolbergsTime.html

On my page, I offer the original edition of the piano score. You may enjoy comparing it with Ellsasser’s transcription.

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Kimball in Worcester Auditorium to Be Used Again (video)

Worcester Auditorium Roars Back to Life to Sound of Organ

Read the current story of this “7,500-pipe Kimball Organ, which has recently been refurbished for performances later this year.” Its maintenance has been infrequent and the full cost to bring it back fully is monstrous. This is the story of its present situation which is a real positive step.

The organ was presented to the Worcester Auditorium in 1933. According to Sherwood, the organ sounds relatively the same now as it did then, the only difference is that some of the bellows that regulate air through the pipes have been touched up.

“The organ has been relatively unaltered and untouched, it’s historically just like it was in 1933,” Sherwood said. “We hear it as the designers designed it originally, so just like the audiences during Great Depression.”

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Conklin Reed Organ Museum Going Strong

Volunteers at the Conklin Reed Organ Museum

Read about and watch a video from this great collection of reed organs. These folks really know how to use their volunteers!

Reed organs aren’t expensive, whether you buy them or buy the materials to restore them. The real cost is in the labor hours it takes to keep them playing, as the average reed organ takes 100 hours to restore, said Sharon Folkerth from the Conklin Reed Organ Museum.

To meet this demand, 10 to 20 volunteers come to the Hanover Township museum for a weekend every month from March to October. Some from as far as California, Iowa and Ontario to help keep the museum’s instruments up and running.

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Robert Elmore Biography Added

I’ve added the biography of Robert Elmore written by Robert Plimpton, one of his students, and included in some of my restorations of Elmore’s music. See it on my page of biographies.

michaelsmusicservice.com Biographies

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Learn More About Garth Edmundson

Learn More About Garth Edmundson

I am pleased to report information that resulted from a few inquiries made by John Apple about Garth Edmundson. His name is not one you’re likely to find in your music history text or music appreciation guide. I posted about him a few months ago, and here is the link to Garth Was Quite A Character. Below, I am posting a few more bits about him which were submitted by an excellent librarian, Lisa Rodgers of First Presbyterian of New Castle, Pennsylvania. But first, here are a few thoughts from John Apple from his research in preparing the capsule biography of Edmundson.

1938 article quoting The American Organist

“In Garth Edmundson, eminent Pennsylvania organist and composer, America has produced perhaps the outstanding composer of organ music of this decade.”

1948? article citing:

“In a recent survey made by [The] Diapason, the organist journal, his works rated first among Americans, and he was preceded on the list only by Marcel Dupré, the great French artist, among living composers whose productions are played oftenest.”
“He is a devout believer in groundwork, and stresses the fact that a fluid piano technique is imperative to graduate to the organ.”

1945 lecture prior to Edmundson recital:

“3. Mr. Edmundson’s rating as a composer is revealed in surveys conducted by the National Journal of the American Guild of Organists, “The Diapason.” They show that he holds first place in popularity among American composers; i.e., more of his works appear on recital programs and are played by the outstanding organists of the country than any other living composer.
4. Among 33 composers hears most frequently during recitals 1944-45, Carnegie Music Hall, he appeared 7th on the list and the 1st living composer’s name to appear on the list.”

The Newspaper Clippings

Here are PDFs of the three articles concerning Garth Edmundson I mentioned above. You will learn about the organist and his life and his music.

As an aside, don’t you wish all churches had someone like Lisa?

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Truette’s Hymnus, Garth’s Elfin Dance, Jean’s Romance, and Fred’s Doodle

Greetings! At least here in the American South, the Heat is still among us. I hope the four pieces that I am announcing will make your August a little brighter, no matter where you live.

ORGAN SHEET MUSIC

1. HYMNUS, by Everett Truette. Truette was an AGO Founder, and he had five pieces published by Arthur P Schmidt in 1915. I’ve already announced the fourth one, “Vesper Hymn,” and this month I am announcing the second one, “Hymnus.” This is grand solemnity for the organ. There are no surprises here; this is a perfect piece for a prelude.
Truette.Hymnus.html

2. HUMORESQUE FANTASTIQUE, by Garth Edmundson. I’ll be honest; I did not know that this was the real name of this piece. All my life, I knew it as “Elfin Dance.” It turns out, as you will see on the first page, that the formal and the program title are not as I knew them. Is there a conspiracy against the program here? 🙂
Edmundson.HumoresqueFantastique.html

3. ROMANCE, by Jean Sibelius, transcribed by Sumner Salter. This piano favorite is just beautiful on the organ. It’s OK with Salter if you omit the piano cadenza, and though it’s there for completeness, I think it sounds better on the organ without it. Play it on a Sunday where you will sing “Be Still, My Soul” for a double Sibelius reference. On my page, you can listen to a recording by Jouni Somero, a fine young Finnish pianist, of the original score.
Sibelius-Salter.Romance.html

4. YANKEE DOODLE, by Fred Feibel. It’s election season here in the States, and this short, tongue-in-cheek arrangement by the always-clever Feibel is sure to bring smiles to any audience. While I don’t suggest it as a postlude, there is no better arrangement for witty fun of this popular melody.
Feibel.YankeeDoodle.html

MONTHLY DISCOUNT BUNDLE. To get the four pieces mentioned above, I offer a special price so you can buy all of the pieces above with one click and save money in the deal. I welcome your support, and if you don’t want to play a particular piece in the group, consider giving it to a student or another organist.
MonthlyBundles/201608.html

Thank you for your interest in this music. Every organ concert should have something to make the audience smile. I hope I can help provide you with some choices.

Cheers!
Michael

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