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Christmas Suite (The Magi)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/28/11)
Composer: Saxton, Stanley E.
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Kampen, Bovenkerk Hinsz/F.C. Schnitger
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Modern
Years ago, I had aquired this work in a "used music" sale, but had never played or heard it. I was looking for something "different" to upload, so, I figured I'd look at this. Well, I really enjoyed doing it!

Stanley E. Saxton (1904-2002) was professor emeritus of music at Skidmore College. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Syracuse University; he also studied organ with Marcel Dupre and Charles Marie Widor at the American School in Fontainbleau in France, as well as composition with Nadia Boulanger. He held his first church organist job at the age of 12, formed his own orchestra as a college freshman, and toured Europe with Paul Whiteman’s Collegians.

A member of the American Guild of Organists, Saxton designed and built many pipe organs in the eastern U.S. He also pursued research in indigenous folk music as source material for compositions, and composed many published works for organ, piano, voice, and chorus.

A "Christmas Suite" was published by Harold Flammer, Inc. in 1971.

The first movement, "The Magi" ("And there were wise men from the East bearing gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.") is a march that uses coloful harmonies and "small fanfares" in unusual ways.

To play modern music on an old organ, may seem an odd choice, but I think that it is SO colorful that it works VERY well. The music is registered for the typical big Skinner or Austin, but by playing things in different octaves and using all 4 manuals, you can make it work.

By the way, in a desire to be "authentic," I don't think that I've made any changes by piston that could not be perfomed manually by two registrant assistants... ;-)

I hope you enjoy these little gems!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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