Cavatina, Offertoire, Swan, and Suite – December’s New Titles

Greetings, everyone. December is a busy month for many organists, so I have selected for you three easy-to-learn pieces and one that will take some work. I have a recording for only one of these, so I hope that someone will record one of the others for me to share. A simple mobile phone recording would be OK.


1. CAVATINA, by Joachim Raff, arranged by Samuel Whitney. This beautiful piece is a staple for violinists but not well known in the organ world. If you don’t know it, I provide a recording of the original by Itzhak Perlman and one of Whitney’s arrangement for organ. This arrangement was published in 1882, the year that Raff died.

2. OFFERTOIRE IN D, by George Morgan. Back in 1875, organ music in America was unlike that in Europe. Organists such as George Morgan, an Englishman who emigrated to America, sought to bring good music to his new country. He was the first organist to play music of Bach and Mendelssohn here. He would no doubt have been a founder of the AGO had he not died four years before its charter. If you would like to read more about him, see his biography.

3. THE SWAN, by Charles Stebbins. Here is another composition by this Chicago organist and programmatic genius. Tennyson’s famous poem is the basis for it and was printed in full in the original edition and abbreviated in later editions. “The plain was grassy, wild and bare, // Wide, wild, and open to the air, // Which had built up everywhere // An under-roof of doleful gray.” His piece from 1916 conveys this great poem in music.

4. SUITE IN G MINOR, by Everett Truette. Widor called his collection of movements a “symphony,” but many in America used the word, “suite.” Truette’s Suite from 1916 is a group of pieces which are the best of their period: Allegro Symphonique, Intermezzo, Grand Choeur, Meditation, and Fugue. These were also published separately and may be played singly for use in services.

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.

Thank you for your interest in this music. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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