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Melody and Canon

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M:OT Full Cinema Reel

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (08/22/22)
Composer: Rousseau, Samuel-Alexander
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Samuel-Alexandre Rousseau was a French composer, organist and musicographer, born June 11, 18531 in Neuve-Maison (Aisne) and died October 1, 1904 in Paris.

Son of the builder of harmoniums, he entered the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 14, where in 1872, he was one of the first students of the organ class of César Franck, with Paul Wachs and Francis Thomé . He studied composition with François Bazin, and obtained the Grand Prix de Rome in 1878.

After his time in Rome, he became organist-accompanist and later chapel master at the Basilica of St. Clotilde. In addition to several masses and a Requiem, he composed many pieces for the organ and the harmonium.
In 1900, he was knighted by the Legion of Honor.

"Melody and Canon" was published by the J. B. Millet Company in 1896. Millet had a large number of scores in several "collections" of organ and piano works. Some of them are type set in final, or almost final versions, and some remain in manuscript. You can find most of them on IMSLP.

"Melody and Canon" is a sophisticated and suave piece. It begins with a bold introduction which melts down into the main theme, the melody, which intrigues the listener with its delicacy and beautiful harmonic scheme. The introduction of the canon heightens the intricacy and the interest.

The interplay of major and minor, combined with the spinning, soaring lines makes for a wonderful piece, which I found very rewarding.

The last page is a quiet chorale-like statement of the theme in the major, but it is physically unplayable as written. So, I very slightly rearranged the part writing to fit into two hands. :-)

This work reminded me quite a bit of Franck's "Andantino in G Minor," which is quite well-known, although certainly not as famous as the larger Franck works.

The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Rousseau, and a photo of the Basilica of St. Clotilde in Paris.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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