Arthur Homer Bird (23 July 1856 – 22 December 1923) was an American composer, for many years resident in Germany. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied in Europe and spent a year at Weimar with Franz Liszt. He composed a symphony, 3 orchestral suites; some works for wind instruments alone; some music for the ballet, and chamber music. He also composed for the harmonium.
Bird died in Berlin in 1923.
This lovely piece is taken from the harmonium collection published by Breitkopf & Hartel in 1897. "Pastoral" is the 10th and last work in the group.
Being originally for harmonium, the player must decide "how to play" these pieces on the organ, meaning, which notes to play or to leave out, if you have to "adjust octaves," etc.
While I can't speak about the other pieces in the volume, these two pieces are superb, and are truly romantic in character.
"Pastoral" uses a drone bass throughout most of the piece. I suppose there is a "hitch down" on the harmonium, but on the organ, you'll have to play double pedal, or a combination of "fixing" a key and playing the other note in the pedal. This way, you'll have your right foot free to manage the swell pedal. This is how I did it in my peformance.
You can hear the pedals "hitching" and "unhitching" at several points, and this really adds to the realism.
The sweet melody is played upon the Swell oboe and 4' flute, and the overall character sounds almost like a "barcarolle" with its flowing and rocking feel.
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Arthur Bird.