Rogers, James Hotchkiss (7 Feb. 1857-28 Nov. 1940), composer, music critic, organist, and teacher, was born in Fair Haven, Conn., and began piano lessons at 12 and organ lessons later, and studied in Europe from 1875-80. In 1883, Rogers moved to Cleveland, becoming organist at Euclid Ave. Temple playing until his retirement in 1932. He was also organist for Shaker Hts. Neighborhood Church and First Unitarian Church. Rogers was music critic for the "Plain Dealer" from 1915-32. It was said Rogers was never harsh; even when Isadora Duncan danced in an outrageous red costume in 1922, Rogers simply wrote, "all things considered, the orchestra did very well."
He composed over 550 works: over 50 compositions for the organ, 5 cantatas, over 130 songs, and instruction books for both piano and organ. His composing style was late Romantic and tended toward the sentimental, but is very fine in its best moments.
"In Memoriam," a 6-song cycle centering on Walt Whitman's poems, was written for his son, Henry, who was killed in WW I. In 1946, the Cleveland Orchestra dedicated a program to Rogers. He taught at the Cleveland School of Music. Upon his retirement, he was honored by 500 musicians and friends at a farewell dinner. He moved to Pasadena, Calif., where he died.
Cantilène is the 2nd of five organ pieces published by G. Schirmer in 1907. It is dedicated to William C. Carl, one of the leading organists of the time.
It is a lovely melody, played in the left hand, with gently oscillating figurations in the right. It's a romantic melody to be sure, but Rogers always wrote with strength and character, so, it is "beautiful" and not "syruppy." The Armley Schulze is ideal for this piece, but the 32' on the last chord may be a bit much... :-(
I'm still working on getting the right "volume level" for my uploads, so, I welcome your opinions or impressions of the level.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Rogers, his signature, and Carl.