Macfarlane was born in London in 1870 to Scottish parents and came to America at an early age. He served for a time at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in New York and in 1912 accepted the position of first Municipal Organist in Portland Maine.
His elegant Reverie was published in 1909 and was dedicated to Walter C. Gale. The composer's gift of tone painting is evident here as Macfarlane creates a dreamy mood with lush strings and foundation stops ebbing and flowing. The wide tonal palette of the Walcker organ is taken advantage of here (as was the opportunity to "re-tune" several string stops to expand the range of celeste colors).