Arthur William Foote (5 March 1853 in Salem, Massachusetts – 8 April 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts) was an American composer, and a member of the "Boston Six." The other five were George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker.
Foote was appointed organist of the First (Unitarian) Church in Boston in 1878, remaining there 32 years. A founder of the American Guild of Organists, he was one of the examiners at the first Guild Fellowship examination. He helped organize the New England chapter of the AGO, and from 1909 to 1912 (when the office was discontinued) he served as National Honorary President of the AGO, succeeding Horatio Parker in that position. He was one of the editors of Hymns of the Church Universal, a Unitarian hymnal published in 1890.
The modern tendency is to view Foote's music as "Romantic" and "European" in light of the later generation of American composers such as Aaron Copland, Roy Harris and William Schuman, all of whom helped to develop a recognizably American sound in classical music. A Harvard graduate and the first noted American classical composer to be trained entirely in the U.S., in some sense he is to music what American poets were to literature before Walt Whitman.
"Christmas, Op. 80" is dedicated to the great French virtuoso, Joseph Bonnet (1884 – 1944). Bonnet had moved to the US in 1917, where he continued his successful career as performer, teacher and composer.
While the Armley Schulze is different from the organ that Foote played at First Church, I think that this piece works well on this organ, despite the fact that you have to "adjust your approach" when playing it.
Performance notes in FIRST COMMENT.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Foote, Bonnet and of First Church in Boston.
Tomorrow: "Adeste fideles" (Three Christmas Preludes, No. 1) - T. H. Candyn
"Merry Christmas" (Australian Carol) - William James
I wish ALL of you a very Merry Christmas!