Original Organ Composition
  • My maternal grandfather, Joseph May, penned this composition (I have the original manuscript) and I've not been able to get an organist to play it for me because they tell me they don't have time to practice it because "it's so hard". I don't know the year of the composition. He died in 1968 when I was yet a toddler. (We recently sang his 1953 SATB version of "Panis Angelicus" at mass. Made my heart sing!) He and his choir performed for the Fulton Sheen Radio Show, and he played for MANY churches in the Brooklyn, NY area back in his day. Can someone please learn this piece and record it for me so that I can hear it? I would be most grateful. +JMJ+ - Kathy K
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    Hi Kathy

    I can insert this into sib and you can hear it. It is quite nice and conventional in its creative approach. Keep a watch on your inbox as I will post it soon.
    Thanked by 2canadash KathyKrause
  • A fine piece. Off hand, it reminds me of Willan. Ir's good.
    Thanked by 1KathyKrause
  • Last night I imported it into forscore. I’ll try and learn it soon. It doesn’t look too bad. As mjo said, it’s rather straightforward.
    Thanked by 2canadash KathyKrause
  • TCJ
    Posts: 776
    I set up my laptop on the organ bench (only place available) and played through it last night. I wouldn't say that it's particularly hard. If I had it laid out in front of me and didn't have to keep scrolling a screen down by my waist, I'd say it would be mostly sight-readable. I'll have to try printing it and playing it properly.
    Thanked by 1KathyKrause
  • CGM
    Posts: 525
    Your grandfather's music calligraphy is beautiful!

    I think that the last page, the Scherzo - Trio (in A minor) is unrelated to the Prelude and Fugue which precedes it; it appears to be an entirely separate piece of music, and in its hasty brevity is quite a contrast to the long and stately music which comes before.

    Given that it's written on a different brand of music paper, it was perhaps composed at a different time from the other piece, and it might be an excerpt from a larger work (often a Scherzo would be an interior movement of a multi-movement piece).

    The Scherzo is much shorter, and you might have a better shot at someone recording it for that reason alone.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 657
    Lovely piece of music.
    Thanked by 1KathyKrause
  • vansensei
    Posts: 165
    They need to use his music writing as an example of how to write it by hand in schools
  • Thanks to all for your kind words! I can't wait to hear it! And yes, CCM, I believe I simply scanned too many pages, with the Scherzo being a separate piece, but would love to hear that as well for anyone who has the time to record it. Happy feast day of St. Augustine to all +JMJ+
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    Kathy, thanks for posting! Great to meet you in Jasper a few weeks ago!
    Thanked by 1KathyKrause
  • I entered all of this into Dorico the other day. Here's the Scherzo that people are so fond of. It's fun to play (I haven't worked it up to any proficiency yet) but rather athletic in terms of jumps. I haven't had time to edit the P&F yet. It will be forthcoming, however.

    PS—it appears the "trio" of the "scherzo-trio" is missing. Next page perhaps? I'd love to see it and polish that off too.

    PPS—I'm happy to reformat this onto two pages; I just realllllly wanted to fit it onto one as in the original, however the manuscript paper was clearly taller than US letter... I also made a much nicer landscape version on 11x17 if anyone is interested.
    Thanked by 3BruceL CHGiffen francis
  • ServiamScores, thank you for the "professional version". Alas I have very few "full" compositions. Family members didn't understand the treasure they had (they just took it for granted), and instead made Christmas ornaments of his music so all family members had a "remembrance" (cringe). Apparently, he also composed a mass setting in honor of St. Michael, but all I have is the Kyrie and only 1/2 of the Gloria.

    I'm still hoping someone can record these for me at some point so I can actually "hear" his talent.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • But if your choirs are in need of a Panis setting....(this piece is actually dated). Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (Not sure why it uploaded twice, but I can't figure out how to delete one of them.)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy,

    I recorded this a while back when I got a few minutes. Sheer sight reading, with all the clipped notes and generous, self-indulgent use of rubato you would expect. I wasn’t thrilled with it, for these reasons and sound quality reasons, and I had thought better organists with better recording rigs were planning to record it, so I didn’t post it. Since no one has, I guess I’ll put it up.

    Only recorded the Prelude before I had to head home that evening — but, with all the caveats, here it is! Enjoy!
  • Thank you NihiNominis!!!
  • vansensei
    Posts: 165
    Hopefully someone has a chance to record the fugue as well. I simply kind of scatted through it like a discount Ward Swingle but from that impression alone, it's quite nice.
  • I will get round to it!
    Thanked by 1KathyKrause
  • Well, I still haven't had an opportunity to go back and do an editorial revision, but here's at least a moderately-engraved version (though the original is lovely). If you find mistakes, let me know; as I said, I just haven't had time to edit it yet.
    Thanked by 1KathyKrause