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Double Fugue on "America - My Country, 'tis of Thee"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/03/18)
Composer: Paine, John Knowles
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
This great but unknown work is actually titled: "Doppel Fuge über 'Heil dir im Siegeskranz'." The melody, which still serves as the national anthem of Great Britain, was the unofficial national anthem of Germany from 1871-1918. In America, the tune "America" is sung to the text, "My country, 'tis of thee, the music appearing in "Thesaurus Musicus," (1744), and the words by Samuel E. Smith (1808-1895).

John Knowles Paine (January 9, 1839 – April 25, 1906) was the first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music. The senior member of a group of composers collectively known as the Boston Six, Paine was one of those responsible for the first significant body of concert music by composers from the United States.

He grew up in a musical family in Maine. His grandfather, an instrument maker, built the first pipe organ in the state of Maine and his father and uncles were all music teachers. His father carried on the family musical instrument business. One uncle was an organist. Another was a composer. In the 1850s Paine took lessons in organ and composition from Hermann Kotzschmar, completing his first composition, a string quartet, in 1855 at the age of 16. After his first organ recital in 1857, he was appointed organist of Portland's Haydn Society, and gave a series of recitals with the object of funding a trip to Europe where he hoped to further his music education.

On arrival in Europe Paine studied organ with Carl August Haupt in Berlin. He also toured Europe giving organ recitals for three years, establishing a reputation as an organist that would precede his return to the United States. After returning to the US and settling in Boston in 1861, he was appointed Harvard's first University organist and choirmaster. He would remain a member of the faculty of Harvard until 1905, just a year before his death.

Performance notes in the FIRST COMMENT.

Photos of John K. Paine and the score (see notes) are attached below!

Happy July 4th!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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