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Mélodie du Soir

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The proud organ, built by William Hill for St. Paul's Church-Burton-on-Trent almost 150 years a...

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/06/19)
Composer: Shelley, Harry Rowe
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
Harry Rowe Shelley (June 8, 1858 – September 12, 1947) was an American composer, organist (church and concert), and professor of music. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Shelley studied at Yale College, and with Dudley Buck and Antonín Dvořák in New York, and completed his musical education in London and Paris. According to his New York Times obituary, Shelley "penned church music that won him wide popularity. For sixty years a host of English-speaking peoples throughout the world sang his hymns."

While still a boy, Shelley played the organ at Center Church on the Green in New Haven. Although he entered Yale, he did not complete his freshman year. He was organist at the Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn and died at age 89 in Short Beach, Connecticut.

In his day, Shelley was as major figure in the American organ world. His music is very much "of his time," and well some of his works are overly sentimental, there are some solid and even brilliant works, particularly the "Fanfare" and the "Marche Militaire", both of which were published by G. Schirmer in 1905. These works were composed while Shelley was organist of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in New York City.

"Mélodie du Soir" was published by G. Schirmer in 1904. Written in the glowing key of E major, it is a warm, flowing melody, mostly with a pulsing triplet accompaniment.

There are a number of "sections" that combine nicely, and the colors and dynamics are beautifully judged, making for a pleasing outcome.

There is something of the nature of a folk-song about the theme, which you will notice from the opening statement played upon the Solo Clarinet.

In this piece, the "feeling of Rheinberger" seemed to by smiling in through the sunset windows. Perhaps it's not Rheinberger, but certainly the influence is Germanic - but with some early 20th century in the mix to be sure. :-)

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Shelley, his signature, and of churches where he served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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