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Palm Sunday (Offertory), Op. 24 No. 1

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M:OT Full Cinema Reel

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/05/20)
Composer: Dunham, Henry Morton
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Henry Morton Dunham (1853-1929) was a student of George Whiting and John Knowles Paine. He taught at the New England Conservatory of Music for nearly 50 years, numbering Wallace Goodrich and Everett Truette among his own students. Dunham was also a composer for solo organ and for organ and orchestra. He served several Boston area churches as organist and was respected as a concert performer. He performed at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904 and Guilmant’s recitals there may have been Dunham’s inspiration to edit works by French composers. With musical forbears such as Whiting and Paine and their teachers W. T. Best and Rheinberger, Dunham’s compositions are influenced by classical formalism and German Romanticism, while still contributing an American viewpoint.

"Palm Sunday (Offertory)" is found in "New Church and Recital Pieces" published by Arthur P. Schmidt in 1913. "Palm Sunday" is the first in the collection of 12.

It begins with a sense of grand tragedy, passing through a variety of dynamics and textures. While I wouldn't call the work "ground breaking" in any way, it did strike me as having a "uniqueness" about it, which grew on me as I was learning it.

Much of the piece is in the minor, but the end gradually "cycles down" and having something of the feel of a slow, sad dance about it, with the music always "falling away." The final cadence is hushed and brings the work to a close in the major.

Dunham was an important American composer for the organ. He is largely forgotten today, but his works are well worth looking at, especially for American organists.

I suppose this "Holy Week" could be called the "Holy Week that wasn't." :-(

I'll be uploading some unusual works during the coming days, which I hope will be appropriate for times in which we live.

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Dunham, one of his grave, and one of Ruggles St. Baptist Church, where Dunham served as organist for many years.

Peace and safety to All.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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