Today, September 22, is the first day of autumn. Here in Jersey City, the September equinox occurs at 9:03
I had intended to learn and upload "Pensee d' automne" by Phillip James. Unfortunately, when I printed it out a few days ago, I discovered that two of the pages were missing.
Having become good friends with Phil James, the late composer's son, I contacted him, since I've received most of the scores from him. Unfortunately, we don't have those two pages, but maybe we'll find them for next year...
Edward F Johnston (1879-1919) was born in Scotland and emigrated to the United States in 1907 where he lived thereafter. Johnston became involved with Robert Hope-Jones and his Wurlitzer Unit Orchestra in 1912 and became an advocate for Hope-Jones as designer and builder. He played Wurlitzers in theatres and served in churches in New York City.
"Autumn" was published by J. Fischer & Bro. in 1912. It is dedicated: "To the Rev. Karl Reiland of New York City." At the top of the score, the composers quotes a poem by John Burland (1870-1926):
Wail of the wind in the dripping trees,
Rustle of leaves that are dead in the blast,
Sobbing song of the autumn breeze,
Music of all that is passing and past.
"Autumn" is a soft, late-romantic piece, but I think I felt a bit letdown by it. Perhaps that is because I was anticipating doing the previously mentioned piece by Phillip James, but I didn't feel the "energy" conveyed in the words of the poet.
I chose Hereford because the score calls for "little bells" in several places. The Hereford Willis has a Glockenspiel on the Solo, and this is what I used for the bells. However, I don't think you'd even notice them "ringing" had I not mentioned them to you, or if you aren't following the score.
Still, it's a nice piece, and hopefully will bring in a good season for all my listeners.
The score is attached below, as well as a likeness of the poet, John Burland.
I wish everyone peace and goodness in the new season.