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A Shepherd's Tale (In Arcady), Op. 16, No. 1

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/24/22)
Composer: Nevin, Ethelbert; arr. Mansfield, Purcell James
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin (November 25, 1862 – February 17, 1901) was born on November 25, 1862, at Vineacre, on the banks of the Ohio River, in Edgeworth, Pennsylvania. There he spent the first sixteen years of his life, and received all his schooling, most of it from his father, Robert Peebles Nevin, editor and proprietor of a Pittsburgh newspaper. His mother, Elizabeth Duncan Oliphant, was a pianist. The first grand piano ever taken across the Allegheny Mountains was carted over for Nevin's mother. Other members of the Nevin family showed musical inclinations as well; Nevin's younger brother, Arthur, also achieved some renown as a composer, as did his cousins George and Gordon Balch Nevin.

From a young age, Nevin was musically inclined. He began playing the piano by the age of four, and his father provided for his son both vocal and instrumental instruction. He also took him abroad for two years of travel and music study in Dresden under Von Böhme. In 1878, he attended Western University, now known as the University of Pittsburgh, but left at the end of his freshman year in 1879. Later he studied the piano with Benjamin Johnson Lang, and composition under Stephen A. Emery.

In addition to composing, he taught piano and singing, but overwork and poor health led to his death.

"In Arcady" was originally published as a four-movement suite for piano in 1892. The first movement is the one presented here, "A Shepherd's Tale."

I think the idea of the "humble shepherd" is perfectly captured here, and the piece is a real delight, and a perfect offering for my ongoing "Summer Dreams" series. :-)

The piece was transcribed Purcell James Mansfield (1889-1968), the son of the organist, Dr. Orlando Mansfield. He was an accomplished organist and pianist by an early age, and had a long and distinguished career as organist, composer, adjudicator and conductor.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Nevin and Mansfield.

See FIRST COMMENT for text of this work.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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