Noack Comes to St Paul’s, Lower Broadway

An Organ — and Soon Another — Lands on Broadway

One of my blog readers suggested this article in The New York Times. It is rich with writing, photos, and a fine short video about the Noack organ. The hatred shown for electronic organs is a bit over the top, but we are all probably able to understand it. This historic structure surely deserves the best after all of the destructive force it has endured from those many years ago.

To hear Julian Wachner tell it, playing the organs of Trinity Church Wall Street in recent years has posed risks to both body and spirit. “It is soul-numbing to play that thing,” Mr. Wachner, the church’s hard-driving director of music and arts, said of the digital instrument in Trinity Church, on Lower Broadway. He also called the Schlicker pipe organ, long resident in St. Paul’s Chapel, Trinity’s historic satellite a few blocks north, “tendinitis central.” But all that will soon change. Some of it already has.

Be sure to read about the 15-year-old digital instrument planned to be replaced by an $8 million pipe organ now being made by Rosales.

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Pietro Yon Biography Added

Pietro Yon Biography Added

I have added our capsule biography of Pietro Yon to the Biographies page. It’s a short and informational one-page article on Yon’s life and work.

Biographies Page

After reading it, if you are interested in more detail in an engaging biographical novel, please look at The Heavens Heard Him.

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To Robert Elmore from CDJ

To Robert Elmore from CDJ

Today, I just have to tell you about a piece I’m working on. If you remember James Burke’s great series called “Connections,” my memories of it and meeting the author is what brought this one to the top, so to say. It’s not a ‘perfect storm,’ but it’s really interesting to me. So, here are the facts.

Two Italians emigrated to the United States in New York City. They were named Casimiro and Antoinette DeGioio. Notice that the piece shown above was written by Casimiro, an organist, pianist, and vocal coach.

Belle of Mexico, one of Casimiro’s pieces published by Carl Fischer

In 1913, a son named Nicodemo was born. His godfather was Pietro Yon, then organist at St Francis Xavier. Nicodemo, whose name was later changed to Norman, studied with Pietro Yon.

Casimiro, being from Italy, had no greater way to show respect than to write a piece that related to his home country, so he wrote “Neopolitan Night” for organ and dedicated it to the organist he greatly admired, Robert Elmore. (See the dedication above.) Remember, Casimiro was an organist and teacher, just like Elmore.

Robert Elmore

Both father and son later changed the spelling of their names, as did so many immigrants: Casimiro Dello Joio and his famous son, Norman. Look for the restoration of “Notturno Napoletano” later this year.

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Good Lord! Can We *Please* Build Roofs that Don’t Leak?

Water Leak Damages Chautauqua Institution Pipe Organ

I don’t have much comment here: Aaaaarrrrrrggggghh! After all the mess with rebuilding the place, this? I was there to hear Jared in 2014, and I didn’t think the auditorium needed rebuilding; this is a complex subject, and I don’t mean to start that here. But water? Even the densest person knows that water is the eternal enemy of organs. How could the designers and builders of the new construction allow this to happen?

The organ’s pipework and internal systems remained undamaged, but its keyboards will need some work. Chautauqua Institution Vice President of Marketing Emily Morris says repairs are underway.

“They disassembled the console and removed the keyboards. Those are being sent to an expert facility where they will be restored and returned to us,” Morris said.

This is a preliminary report, so don’t expect the full story in this article. I’ll cover any subsequent news I find. Please post here if you find out anything else.


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Very Deserving Components of Our Musical Patrimony

I just wanted to say “Thank You” for making these compositions available to the public again.  I also want to commend you for preserving these very deserving components of our musical patrimony, and for making them accessible to us so economically.

Keep up the good work, and I’ll be sure to spread the word!

—New Jersey, USA

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Learn About Carl Rossini Diton

Learn About Carl Rossini Diton

Carl Rossini Diton was born on October 30, 1886 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied music with his father, Samuel James Diton, followed by music study at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a BS  in 1909. He was the first Negro (black, African-American) pianist to make a transcontinental tour which was in 1909-10. Now, you’ve got to love his middle name. His father was a musician, so why not?

View his Biographical Sketch/CV:

The image above is the first page of letter from Diton to W. E. B. Du Bois, December 12, 1909. If you can read cursive writing, it is an interesting journey into a time past with a young musician eager to engage and learn from a great writer and public figure. Read the entire letter:

I have just announced the first restored organ piece by him, and it was in fact the first organ publication of a spiritual! Read more about it and Diton:


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It Will Be Fun to Try to Play It All Myself!

“Thanks. I look forward to receiving it.  When I was at school, I used to accompany this piece on the piano as we had several good violinists who liked to play it.  It will be fun to try to play it all myself!” —Australia

The piece ordered was:


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I Especially Like the PDF Pieces

“Yes, I am confident about my purchase and I like your site. I especially like the PDF pieces, as I live in The Netherlands.” —Netherlands

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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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You Want Hymntunes or What?

You Want Hymntunes or What?

I am working on a piece with these tunes shown below included. I will tell you that it was published by The Boston Music Company in 1944 so you know it’s legit. 🙂 The subtitle is “A Medley of Hymn Motifs for Organ.” I predict this piece (by an American organist) will become one of my best sellers! Keep reading for updates.

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