Bells of St Anne Recording Added

Bells of St Anne Recording Added

At the notice of a friend, I have added a terrific recording of the second piece from St Lawrence Sketches by Alexander Russell, “The Bells of St Anne de Beaupré.” It was played by Lloyd Holzgraf on the organ in First Congregational Church, Los Angeles, California. This selection is from his LP direct-to-disc record, “The Power and the Glory,” Vol 1 from 1978. The digital transfer was well done and still sounds good today.

If you would enjoy knowing more about Alexander Russell, I offer for free a short PDF of “Alexander Russell” by John Tasker Howard. It is from “Studies of Contemporary American Composers,” a series of booklets issued by J Fischer & Bro to increase awareness and interest in American composers.

Posted in Education/Information, Recordings | Leave a comment

“Munsters” Will Be A Highlight of the Evening

“Yes, Michael, I was able to download the pieces just fine. I am planning a Halloween Organ Recital, and this will certainly be one of the highlights of the evening!”—Connecticut, USA

He’s referring to the theme from the television show, “The Munsters,” as arranged by Mark Peterson. It’s available in print or as a PDF download.

Posted in Concert, Customer Service | Leave a comment

Interesting Harmonies in Triumphant Procession

“Hi Michael. The pieces arrived yesterday, many thanks. Some of your harmonies in the Triumphant Procession are interesting! Kind Regards.” —United Kingdom

Posted in Education/Information | Leave a comment

Dickinson & Garden — What A Team

Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood Garden

Dickinson & Garden — What A Team

I’ve added two more photos to my collection of composers who wrote or arranged organ music. These two produced a series of duets I am currently restoring. Clarence Dickinson, an AGO Founder, and his student and collaborator, Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood Garden.

Posted in Education/Information | Leave a comment

Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood Garden

Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood Garden

Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood Garden

In the course of restoring a set of duets by Clarence Dickinson and Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood, I asked John Apple for some information on her. Like most of you, I suspect, I knew very little about her and a great deal about Dickinson. Here is some interesting information for you. First, you should know that her maiden name was listed as Lockwood but she married and used Garden. I was interested to find that she spent time right here in North Carolina.

Years ago, on piporg-l, there was some brief commentary:

Alistair Nelson asked “Does anybody know anything about Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood?” Dr. Charlotte Garden (Lockwood was her maiden name) was an incredible musician and organist.

Studied with Clarence Dickinson. Studied with Widor in the 1930s (Widor dedicated an organ piece “Mystique” to her). I think she also studied with Gunter Ramin. Friend of Karg Elert’s (she used to sight-read his new compositions for him – they were beyond his keyboard abilities).

From the 1930s until her death she was organist/choirmaster at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church in Plainfield, NJ, USA. Wonderful 4-manual Moller organ, designed by Richard Whitelegg, who had worked for Willis and worked on the Willis at Liverpool Cathedral. The organ was modelled on the one at Liverpool.

Taught organ at Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music in New
York. My teacher studied with her in the late 1950’s. I was to study with her
also, but she was tragically killed in a car accident in May, 1961.

Her arrangement for organ duet, done in collaboration with Clarence
Dickinson, of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries is, I believe, still in print.

Hope this helps.
Bob Grube

John Apple once answered this question for me:

Clarence Dickinson (1873-1969) was organist/choirmaster of Brick Presbyterian Church, NYC, director of the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary and a founder of the American Guild of Organists. Charlotte Lockwood Mathewson Garden (1903-1961) was a student of Dickinson, Charles Marie Widor and Gunther Ramin [conductor of Gewandhaus choir and Berlin Phil choir, cantor –  St Thomas – Leipzig – from 1940-1956]. She was organist-director of Crescent Ave. Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, NJ, organist of West End Synagogue, NYC and on the faculty of Union Theological Seminary.

And from the Union Theological Seminary Alumni Catalogue, 1836-1947:

1928
Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood Garden
Born Granby, Ct., Feb. 24, 1903; Salem College, 1921, Mus.B.; School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary, 1930-31, M.S.M.; organist (First Methodist Episcopal), Reidsville, N. C, 1915-17; (First Presbyterian), Danville, Va., 1917-18; (First Presbyterian), Greensboro, N. C, 1918-20; (Reynolda Presbyterian), Winston-Salem, N. C, 1920-21; (First Congregational), Scarsdale, N. Y., 1923-26; (Sinai Temple), New York City, 1922-25; (West End Synagogue), ditto, 1926-30; organist and director of music; (Crescent Avenue Presbyterian), Plainfield, N. J., 1926——; lecturer (Descant, Instrumentation), School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary, 1928——.

And, there is a remembrance of her on Neal Campbell’s outstanding blog, on the New York Organists from the Past page. Scroll down until you see “Charlotte Garden.” Also, there is the front-page photo and article about her death from The Diapason.

Posted in Education/Information | 1 Comment

A Summer Caprice, Schreiner’s Interlude, Carmen’s Intermezzo, and a Two-person Valkyries Ride

July is upon us here in the American South, and Heat is king with Humidity as his queen! The first three pieces in this announcement are light and good for a Summer program. The last is a duet arrangement of Wagner’s famous Ride of the Valkyries which you might save for October; I hear that’s the season for flying Valkyries. 🙂

ORGAN SHEET MUSIC

1. CAPRICE, by W A Goldsworthy. This is his first organ piece and its playful, light texture is a Summertime joy. It’s marked “Daintily” — so there!
Goldsworthy.Caprice.html

2. LYRIC INTERLUDE, by Alexander Schreiner. We all know the name of Schreiner for his monumental tenure at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. There is a parallel of his “Lyric Interlude” with Alec Wyton’s “Lotus”. Both were improvisations that were recorded and then written down after many requests.
Schreiner.LyricInterlude.html

3. INTERMEZZO TO ACT II OF CARMEN, by George Bizet, transcribed by Caspar Koch. This is the Entr’acte between Acts I and II, after the arrest of Don Jose and before the gathering at the inn. For the audience, it’s a contrast between two dramatic situations.
Bizet-Koch.IntermezzoToActIIOfCarmen.html

4. THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRS, by Richard Wagner, arranged by Clarence Dickinson and Charlotte Mathewson Lockwood. If you would like to wake up your audience with a duet, this is your choice. As Michael Barone introduced it, “Giddy-up!”
Wagner-Dickinson.RideOfTheValkyrs.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/201607.html

Thank you for your interest in the music I restore. I hope to continue to offer the music that you want to play, and I always appreciate your suggestions. If for any reason you would like to leave this list, just send me a quick email and I’ll remove you. My announcements are also available on my blog (you are here) and on Facebook (facebook.com) and Twitter (twitter.com/michaelsmusic).

Posted in Church, Concert | Leave a comment

How Loud Should the Organ Be in the Saint-Saëns Third?

Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony Much Better on Second Night

This review is from earlier this month, but I haven’t seen much else written about it, so I am mentioning it here. I am a fan of Scott Cantrell, but in this case I’ll take issue with one of his points. With everything else, I am in huge agreement with him! We have only a few nationally-known music critics left, and even fewer who write about and encourage more organ and orchestra music and solo organ concerts. Here is my nit to pick in his review.

The symphony’s organ part isn’t a big solo affair, but Saint-Saëns was an organist himself, and here clearly he meant the instrument to be at least the orchestra’s equal.

John Apple made his points in 1996 on piporg-l and they’re illuminating today.

The premiere took place on May 19, 1886, at St James Hall, Piccadilly.
This was the home of the Royal Philharmonic Society that commissioned the
work. Instead of the 1858 Gray and Davidson organ (probably 1 manual with
19 stops and 4 pedal stops) which Saint-Saens knew, he found an 1882
Bryceson Brothers and Ellis organ with fewer stops over 2 manuals (both
enclosed). It had a 3 rank mixture on the Great and a 8′ Horn in place of
16-8-4 chorus reeds. The work was first performed in Paris on January 9, 1887.

So, neither of these organs for which Saint-Saëns wrote the work was the equivalent of the orchestra of the day. Of course today, everything is louder and bigger, orchestras, piano, and organs. The Victorians would run out of hall in terror at so much volume!

Posted in Education/Information | Leave a comment

The Organs Speak for Me and Will after I Am Gone

Music Makers: Kegg Pipe Organ Builders

Charles Kegg and his six employees have built 52 pipe organs that have been installed across the nation and has helped repair, restore and improve dozens of other organs. “We build them one at a time,” Kegg said. “It gets all of our attention until it gets done.”

Read this appreciative article by Gary Brown on a local perspective on this fine organ builder.

Posted in Education/Information | Leave a comment

Thanks for the Biggs Toccata

Richard Keys Biggs

Thanks for the Biggs Toccata

Thank you, and also thanks for keeping all this great music of do many outstanding 20th century American organist/composers alive. I found out about your music from a performance of Richard Keys Biggs’ Toccata on ‘Deo Gratias’ by Jelil Romano. Thank you so much! —California, USA

Thanks for the comment. Jelil’s video is below in case blog readers would like to hear it for themselves.

Posted in Church, Concert, Customer Service | 1 Comment

A New, Younger Nevin

Nevin-old

A New, Younger Nevin

I got a much nicer photo of Nevin to replace this candid snapshot. This portrait below is from 1933 when he was aged 41 years. I’m working on restoring his Toccata in D Minor which is a nice one that’s not too hard.

Nevin-young

Posted in Education/Information | Leave a comment