George Coutts (1888 - 1962), was a Canadian organist, pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland on August 6, 1888, he moved to Toronto, Ontario, in 1911, where he taught at the Academy of Music and at Woodstock (Ontario) College. He was Head of the Regina Conservatory piano department, ca. 1921-1928; studied in England, 1928-1929; organist Chalmers United Church (Vancouver, British Columbia), as well as conductor of the Brahms Choir and the Little Symphony (later the Vancouver Junior Symphony), ca. 1931-1940. Coutts was organist-choirmaster at various Toronto churches, 1940-1959, and adjudicated throughout Canada. In addition he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto and University of Toronto. He died in Toronto on April 28, 1962.
"A Meditation on 'O Little One Sweet'" was published by Boosey & Hawkes Inc. in 1953. It is dedicated "To Charles Peaker," who was the leading Canadian organist of the age.
Written in the warm key of "E-flat," the work is based upon "O Jesulein süss," which is a sacred part song composed by J. S. Bach.
Although not a "Christmas piece," it is generally sung as a Christmas carol, since the words speaking of the Infant Jesus, and His birth on earth, etc.
This is a very pretty piece, and it's too bad that it is so brief. It's also lamentable that Coutts only sets the first phrase of the tune during the work. The rest of it is free material.
You'll hear the brief melody played in the tenor register upon the Solo organ using the Violoncello 8, 'Cello Celestes 8', and the Flute Harmonique 8.
This work was uploaded by David Campbell on IMSLP. THANKS to him for this one, and for MANY other rare and excellent items.
The score is attached below.
Since Christmas isn't over just yet, I hope to get one more "late entry" in before it is... ;-)
Happy New Year to All!