I am constantly looking for "new" music. Even restlessly looking for something "different." How many times can you listen to the "same" piece, even when the performances is a great one?
To find a piece of high quality, written perhaps long ago, and now COMPLETELY forgotten is always a special thing.
The "Sonata Eroica" by John Franklin Carré, is unquestionably one of THOSE pieces.
I could find very little about the composer. He was born on October 20, 1894 in Racine Wisconsin and died there in November of 1966. He was an organist in Racine, and was a pupil of the great Clarence Eddy (1851-1937) and of Felix Borowski (1872-1956).
The three-movement "Sonata Eroica" was composed was awarded the First Prize in the "1951 composer's competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs," and was published by the Willis Music Company in 1952. It is dedicated to the great American virtuoso, Claire Coci (1912-1978), a student of Dupré, and called the "greatest woman organist."
The "Sonata Eroica" is an impassioned work. The fingerprints, perhaps even the torture of Vierne is evident, but the idiom is "different." There also seem to be touches of Guilmant, particularly in the opening part of the "Intermezzo." This would make sense, as Clarence Eddy had been one of Guilmant's most famous American students. It is a rare working, arresting and inspired.
In finding this piece last week, and pushing myself to bring it together, I couldn't help but feel excitement for and commitment to the task. I kept thinking, this MUST be the first time that this great work has been heard in a long, LONG time.
We know nothing about the "concept of heaven," but the thought and joy of Carré "hearing" his sonata live again, filled me as I was recording this.
The score is attached below.
I have no photos Carré, but I did attach some of Eddy, Borowski, and Claire Coci.
Timings of individual movements are:
Allegro maestoso 0:00