James Hotchkiss Rogers (7 Feb. 1857-28 Nov. 1940), composer, music critic, organist, and teacher, was born in Fair Haven, Conn., and began piano lessons at 12 and organ lessons later, and studied in Europe with Guilmant and Widor from 1875-80. In 1883, Rogers moved to Cleveland, becoming organist at Euclid Ave. Temple playing until his retirement in 1932. He was also organist for Shaker Hts. Neighborhood Church and First Unitarian Church. Rogers was music critic for the "Plain Dealer" from 1915-32. It was said Rogers was never harsh; even when Isadora Duncan danced in an outrageous red costume in 1922, Rogers simply wrote, "all things considered, the orchestra did very well." Rogers explained his role was not to discourage but rather to encourage and advise. Rogers composed over 550 works: over 50 compositions for the organ, 5 cantatas, over 130 songs, and instruction books for both piano and organ. His composing style was late Romantic and tended toward the sentimental. "In Memoriam," a 6-song cycle centering on Walt Whitman's poems, was written for his son, Henry, who was killed in WW I. He taught at the Cleveland School of Music. He died in Pasadena, California.
The "Arioso in the Ancient Style" was composed in 1915, and is "mannered" after the style of Handel, or so it sounds to me. It may be "Baroque in intent", but the style is all Romantic! There is a sweet sincerity about it, and this would be perfect for a wedding prelude.
This is the description of the piece our member Agnus_Dei did of it in his rendition, which can be found here:
Hope you don.t mind me pinching it, Dave.
Played on the Walcker organ of Annaberg which, though thoroughly German, sounds also very fine in this music.