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Aria, Op. 9, No. 5

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (01/26/20)
Composer: Bingham, Seth
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Seth Bingham (b. Bloomfield, NJ, April 16, 1882; d. New York, NY, June 21, 1972) prolifically composed orchestral, choral, chamber music, organ works, and songs throughout a distinguished career in and near New York City as professor of music at Columbia University 1920-54 and lecturer at the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary 1953-1965.

A student of Horatio Parker (composition) and Harry Benjamin Jepson (organ) at Yale University (B.A., 1904, B. Mus., 1908), he taught theory and composition there 1908-1919.

In Paris and Berlin 1906-07, Bingham studied with Vincent d’Indy, Alexandre Guilmant, and Charles-Marie Widor. Bingham returned to France frequently and maintained an active acquaintance with French composers of the time, including Widor, Vierne, Dupré, Duruflé, Langlais, etc. In 1945-46, he served on the faculty of the United States Army's American University in Biarritz where he taught theory and composition.

He was organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church 1913-1951, and had been organist and choirmaster at the Rye Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York, 1909-1910, and Temple Beth Israel in New York City, 1910-1913.

"Six Pieces" were published by H. W. Gray in 1923. "Aria" is the 5th of the set, and dedicated "To Homer Humphrey," who was an instructor at the New England Conservatory of Music and organist of First Congregational Church in Fall River, Massachusetts.

It is probably quicker than some would expect of an aria! The texture and harmonies are delicate, and the solo voice, played largely on the Harmonic Flute of the Solo. It is highly chromatic, but in a very pleasant way, and the melodic line is quite rhapsodic.

There is a contrasting section, where the thematic material resembles plainsong, well, sort of.

I've never heard this piece, but was pleased to find and share it. :-)

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Seth Bingham, Madison Avenue Presbyterian, & First Congregational Church, Fall River, Mass.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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