Fantastic March to Faulkes’s Spring towards A Sweet Chariot in Perpetual Motion

February’s announcement contains my first restoration of that great Italian organist, Enrico Bossi, in his arrangement of the music of Paganini, the great violin virtuoso. Also included is the first of three by Richard Ellsasser and the first by a great black pianist and organist, Carl Diton. Thank you, everyone, for your email with thoughts and comments, and I hope to include your suggestions soon.


1. MARCHE FANTASTIQUE by Richard Ellsasser. This unforgettable piece has had an interesting history: From 1952 LP notes: “Conjectures of what inspired it have brought forth a host of imaginative suggestions from critics and public alike ranging from ‘a picture of inebriation’ to ‘a parade of bedbugs.'” From October 1957 in Kingston, New York: “Through its many turns and changes it becomes an amusing adventure.” From a music journal in 1963: “Fantastic, yes, but never to the point of grotesquerie. This imaginative, piquant, colorful, and often humorous Marche may well be used in a recital as an encore, or as a foil to more weighty and conventional items. Clever touch: The perfect fifths played on soft 16′ and 32’ stops in the pedal part to simulate a bass drum.” So, there. I personally cannot help but smile when I hear it!

2. SPRING SONG, by William Faulkes. I think Mendelssohn was the first to use the title of “Frühlingslied” or “Spring Song” in his Op 62 No 6 of “Songs without Words.” Several others have followed this idea, and this is Faulkes’s. It’s light and lyrical and I encourage you to look at it for Spring 2018.

3. SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT! by Carl Diton. You probably don’t know his name, but I hope to restore several of his pieces. He was an incredible pianist, organist, and composer when it was extremely difficult to be black and a classical musician. (Just ask W C Handy!) His arrangement of Swing Low starts with a bang and ends in the clouds. He called it “virtually an improvisation.” It was published in 1916.

4. MOTO PERPETUO, by Niccolò Paganini, arranged by Enrico Bossi. If I told you that I have to offer an organ arrangement of a violin and piano piece from 1835 called “Allegro vivace a movimento perpetuo,” would you be excited? I don’t think so. Of course, this is Bossi’s arrangement of that Paganini favorite we all know as “Moto Perpetuo.” Get your right hand limbered up!

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.


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