Stanley E. Saxton (1904-2002) was professor emeritus of music at Skidmore College. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Syracuse University; he also studied organ with Marcel Dupre and Charles Marie Widor at the American School in Fontainbleau in France, as well as composition with Nadia Boulanger. He held his first church organist job at the age of 12, formed his own orchestra as a college freshman, and toured Europe with Paul Whiteman’s Collegians. A member of the American Guild of Organists, Saxton designed and built many pipe organs in the eastern U.S. He also pursued research in indigenous folk music as source material for compositions, and composed many published works for organ, piano, voice, and chorus.
First, THANKS to our great friend, composer, and contributor, Carson Cooman, for sending me this, and some other of Saxon's organ works. THANK YOU, Carson!
"Passacaglia" is the first movement of Church Suite No, 1, published in 1972 by Harold Flammer. All three movements are brief, and the "Passacaglia" has only 4 variations. It's tricky in a few spots... ;-)
The dark tonality of D minor is preserved, but the work is highly chromatic in spots. It quickly works through a variety of textures before a grand climax.
The registrations are odd throughout, and while I sort of "used" them, I did not follow them strictly. The writing is "organ-like" but in a way, it's somewhat awkward here and there. It does NOT sound like Dupre...
THANK YOU, Carson! I hope you like and approve of my rather quick preparation of this interesting work!