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Within a Chinese Garden

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/01/19)
Composer: Stoughton, Roy Spaulding
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
The name of Roy Spaulding Stoughton, used to be quite well-known, although you don't hear too much about him these days.

He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on January 28, 1884, and died on February 1, 1953. The little bit of information that I have on him says that (as of 1919) that he "is a teller in a Bank, and is not at present engaged actively as an organist, devoting all his spare time to composition."

His work in a bank, along with his unique and colorful writing certainly give him claim for an "unusual position" in the organ world!

All of his pieces, are elaborate, highly evocative works, that will challenge the performer in terms of technical execution and registrational aptitude.

"Within a Chinese Garden" is smaller than most of his output, which often take form in extended suites. It was published by White-Smith Music Publishing Co. in 1917, and is dedicated: "To my friend, Mr. Roland Diggle, Los Angeles, Cal." Diggle (1885-1954) was born in England, educated at the Royal College of Music, and emigrated to the US in 1904. He was a tireless advocate of organ music and wrote and arranged over 500 pieces.

This work is "predictably pentatonic," but in a very appealing well. It has the "sorts of sounds" that we commonly associate with a "Chinese scene."

Notice the wonderful Solo Orchestral Oboe with the Violone 16' in the Pedal. The Solo and Swell strings get a chance as well, and there is some double pedaling with tricky expression pedal management needed.

I don't know which of the 2 Stoughton pieces that I uploaded is "better," so, I will let the listener decide!

See First Comment for dedication information. :-)

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Roy Spaulding Stoughton (which I found on the website of Michael's Music Service, restorers of much of Spaulding's music, as well as many long-forgotten gems from other no-longer-famous composers.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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