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.
This is the first of several works that I will be uploading today and tomorrow. As before, these pieces came to me through the courtesy and friendship of Carson Cooman. These pieces have probably never been played, so, I guess we can call each of them a premiere! ;-)
The quality of these works varies considerably. Some are quite beautiful, others are "uneven," with strong ideas but weak executions, or "mistakes" in their context. Some actually sound "funny" to our sophisticated ears.
I've tried to be faithful to Saxton's "registration schemes," but have expanded them somewhat. I've paid attention to his metronome marks, and in most cases, I'm either right at or near the indications. I've "corrected" a few "inconsistences" here and there.
"Cathedral Echoes" is an intriguing piece. It's actually a very good one, with the "main section," sounding a LOT like Dupre. The "melodic section" in the middle is rather "typical" of Saxton's "style." It's not bad, but it really doesn't "go with" the main section. Still, this piece works, especially on a big organ and a reverberant room. This piece bears the date of 1997 on the manuscript.
THANK YOU, Carson for allowing me to have the opportunity of playing these pieces!