Pietro Alessandro Yon (August 8, 1886 – November 22, 1943) was an Italian-born organist and composer who made his career in the United States. He was born in Settimo Vittone, (Piedmont, Italy), and studied at the conservatories of both Milan and Turin, also attending the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome; among his teachers in Milan was Polibio Fumagalli. He served for a time as an organist at the Vatican and at the Royal Church in Rome.
In the spring of 1907, Father John B. Young, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan, was in Rome on Vatican business and additionally to seek out a replacement for his organist Gaston Dethier, who was leaving to pursue a concert career. Thus Yon at age 21 came to the United States, where from 1907 until 1926 he was the organist of St. Francis Xavier Church. He joined his brother S. Constantino Yon, who had preceded him and held a similar position at St. Vincent Ferrer Church.
Yon became an American citizen in 1921.
On January 1, 1922 Yon was appointed 'Titular Organist' of the Vatican, a singular and unprecedented honor. The appointment put pressure on New York church authorities to promote Yon to a more-prestigious position.
In 1926, he became the assistant organist of St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, and on May 1, 1928, Yon was promoted to music director.
"Canto Elegiaco" was published by Galaxy Music Corporation in 1937. It is an "old-fashioned" sad song, punctuated with church bells that seemed to be reminding all mortality to "answer the summons when called."
The overall tone of this struck me as being "very Italian," the sort of thing you'd hear at a parish procession.
My friend, Al, to whom this is dedicated with love and respect, would have said that this "sounded like something from 'The Godfather' to me." :-)
Please read the interesting FIRST COMMENT below to learn about Allen Hinman.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Yon.