Foote, Arthur W.
AMQS from one of the composer’s finest works, his Piano Quartet, Opus 23
Autograph ID: 6975
Condition: Very good, 2 light folds, light creasing top left corner
Description: “Arthur W. Foote (1853-1937 American classical composer, member of the “Boston Six” with George W. Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John K. Paine, and Horatio Parker.
He was appointed organist of the First Church in Boston (Unitarian) in 1878, remaining there 32 years. A founder of the American Guild of Organists, he was one of the examiners at the 1st Guild Fellowship examination. He helped organize the New England chapter of the AGO, and from 1909-12 (when the office was discontinued) he served as National Honorary President of the AGO, succeeding Horatio Parker. He was one of the editors of “Hymns of the Church Universal”, a Unitarian hymnal published in 1890.
A Harvard graduate and the 1st noted American classical composer to be trained entirely in the US, Foote was an early advocate of Brahms and Wagner and promoted performances of their music. He was an active music teacher and wrote a number of pedagogical works, incl. “Modern Harmony in Its Theory and Practice” (1905), written with Walter R. Spalding, republished as “Harmony” (1969). He also wrote “Some Practical Things in Piano-Playing” (1909) and “Modulation and Related Harmonic Questions” (1919). He contributed many articles to music journals, including “Then and Now, Thirty Years of Musical Advance in America” in Etude (1913) and “A Bostonian Remembers” in Musical Quarterly (1937). A good part of Foote’s best compositions consist of chamber music. His Piano Quintet, Op.38 and Piano Quarter, Op.23, earn special praise, as good as any late 19th century piano quartet. His Suite in E major for Strings, Op. 63 premiered and was first recorded by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Foote’s Piano Quartet was completed in 1890 and was, during Foote’s lifetime, one of his most popular works, receiving numerous performances in the US and Europe before inexplicably disappearing from the concert stage. The celebratory opening movement, Allegro comodo, is sunny and full of good spirits. A vivacious and energetic Schumannesque Scherzo follows. The 3rd movement, Adagio, ma con moto, is a leisurely, joyous theme of thanksgiving. The finale, Allegro non troppo, is full of excitement, wonderful melodies and even a fugue before the satisfying coda.
5 x 8 AMQS, 6 bars identified by Foote as from his Piano Quartet, Op. 23, signed with sentiment, July 31 1892, no place.”