James Hotchkiss Rogers (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.
"Bridal Song" is the 2nd of four organ pieces published by G. Schirmer in 1905. It is "romantically sweet" as you would expect, but it's not just "sugary junk" by any means, assuming that you accept the type and style of the piece.
It has some expressive writing, and some very subtle harmonic shadings. You'll need to negotiate some "wide stretches," and once again, my hand was tired and a little sore after doing this.
While the title is what it is, this could just as easily be entitled, "Andante espressivo," or some such thing.
Unfortunately, I do NOT have the 4th piece of the group. so this will "end" the group.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of James Rogers and his signature.