The American composer, organist, conductor, and choirmaster, Harvey Bartlett Gaul (born April 12, 1881, Brooklyn - died December 1, 1945 - Pittsburgh), studied organ, harmony and composition with George LeJeune in New York; then with Dudley Buck. He went to Paris to complete his training with Widor, Guilmant and Decaux (organ) at the Conservatoire and with D’Indy (composition and orchestration) at the Schola Cantorum (1909-1910).
He was assistant organist at the St. John’s Chapel in New York (1899-1901), and then organist and choirmaster at Emmanuel Church in Cleveland (1901-1909). He also wrote music criticism for the Cleveland News. In 1910 he settled in Pittsburgh as organist of Calvary Episcopal Church (1910-1945), served as music critic (1914-1934) and arts editor 1929-1934) of the Post Gazette, then conducted the Pittsburgh Civic String Orchestra (1936-1945) and the Savoyard Opera Company (1939-1945) and taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
A prolific composer, Harvey Bartlett Gaul wrote more than 500 works. He is most remembered for his organ and church music. His organ works include Chanson du Matin and Chanson du Soir (1906), Lenten Meditation (1909), Christmas Pipes of County Clare (1926), Ancient Hebrew Prayer of Thanksgiving (1935), Moravian Morning Star (1941), and Easter Procession of the Moravian Brethren (1945). His choral compositions include both church anthems and secular cantatas.
This work is almost "cinematic" in its layout! It depicts the great sunrise service, held each Easter morning on Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside, California. At the head of the piece Gaul writes: "Every Easter in California, the townspeople ascend the heights of Mt. Rubidoux at Cock-Crow. Dawn finds them climbing on foot, in flivver, in fashionable limousine. When they arrive at the summit a great Resurrection service is held. "Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed!"
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