Harry Rowe Shelley (June 8, 1858 – September 12, 1947) was an American composer, organist (church and concert), and professor of music. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Shelley studied at Yale College, and with Dudley Buck and Antonín Dvorák in New York, and completed his musical education in London and Paris. According to his New York Times obituary, Shelley "penned church music that won him wide popularity. For sixty years a host of English-speaking peoples throughout the world sang his hymns."
While still a boy, Shelley played the organ at Center Church on the Green in New Haven. Although he entered Yale, he did not complete his freshman year. He was organist at the Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn and died at age 89 in Short Beach, Connecticut.
In his day, Shelley was as major figure in the American organ world. His music is very much "of his time," and well some of his works are very sentimental, there are some solid and even brilliant works, particularly the "Fanfare" and the "Marche Militaire", both of which were composed while Shelley was organist of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in New York City.
"Two Pieces" was (or is this "were"?) published by G. Schirmer in 1879.
The second, "Scherzo" is a complete change from the happy, breezy spring song we've just heard!
This one, in a stormy D Minor, reminded me of one of those March days were you think winter has ended, and then suddenly, a wild gale blows in, struggling to hurl us back into the grips of winter.
It's brief but brilliant, and pairs and contrasts perfectly with the gentle preceding piece.
Hopefully, this storm will blow itself out soon, but first, you'll need to be able to endure this mighty final blast of winter!
I wish all a spring (or autumn!) season that brings happiness and peace, and lifts cares from your heart.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Harry Rowe Shelley, a photo of an autographed copy of his "Fanfare," and several photos of churches at which he played.