An Alpine Fantasy, a Little Song, a Great Sonata, and a Beautiful Sunset

Hello to all you blog readers! OK, so there are no marches for August, but just you wait until the Fall. <g> My goal is to restore all of the published pieces by Flagler, and this month I offer perhaps his most dramatic work. Also, if you haven’t played Becker’s First Sonata, you should consider it as an alternate to Mendelssohn. The other two pieces are just as interesting.


1. ALPINE FANTASY AND STORM, by Isaac van Vleck Flagler. Everybody loves a good storm. Flagler’s did not get published before his death. George Whiting took the manuscript and had it published two years after Flagler’s death in 1909. I offer an organ roll played on two different organs and a performance by Earl Miller. Get out your umbrellas!

2. CANZONETTA, by George Whitefield Chadwick. When did people begin writing music in 5/4? 1930s? 1920s? How about 1896? The Canzonetta was written mostly in 5/4, the middle section being in 3/4. In addition to this remarkable fact, it is a lovely piece that everyone will enjoy.

3. FIRST SONATA IN G MINOR, by Rene Becker. This is his most famous sonata and for good reason. I offer you several recordings to hear and there are plenty of others online for you to hear as well.

4. SUNSET AT THE ABBEY, by Gatty Sellars. For most of the organ pieces arranged from Ketelbey’s orchestral scores, Sellars was the arranger. Here, he used his own skills to create a programmatic piece describing the atmosphere at sunset: “Chimes are gently pealing, Evensong is stealing Through the ancient arches, at the close of day.” He played thousands of concerts in America (he died here) and was known as “the world’s greatest descriptive organist.”

MONTHLY DISCOUNT BUNDLE. There are several of you who buy all of the pieces I restore in order to support my work. Thank you very much! I have made a special page where everyone can buy all of the pieces announced 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.

Thank you all for your emails and support of this great organ music. I get a kick when an organist calls me and asks for a piece he’s been “searching for for ages” and I have it restored. Success! Please forward this email announcement to your organist friends. If you don’t see the kind of music you like, email or call me with your suggestions.


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