Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited
by Fred Flaxman

©2015 by Fred Flaxman

Program 253
"A Foote for Your Ears"

MUSIC
: Arthur Foote: excerpt from opening of the third movement (“Intermezzo”) of Serenade for Strings, Op. 25, performed by the London Octave conducted by Kypros Markou [Dutton Epoch CDLX 7238, Track 8]  [under the following]

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman. The next hour will be devoted to the melodious, romantic music of the American composer Arthur Foote, who lived from 1853 until 1937. At the risk of putting a foot in my mouth, I’m calling this program “A Foote for Your Ears.”

MUSIC: Fades out

Arthur Foote (that’s spelled “Foote”) was born in Salem, Massachusetts. He is usually grouped with other late nineteenth-century New England composers, such as George Whitfield Chadwick, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker, who studied music composition mainly in Europe. But, except for some later organ and piano studies in France, Foote was educated in the United States. He studied at the New England Conservatory and then at Harvard, from which he received this nation’s very first Master of Arts degree in music in 1875.  The following year he made his first trip to Europe to attend the first Bayreuth Festival. Hearing Wagner’s music would have a lasting effect on him and an influence on his works for chorus and orchestra.

Although Foote went to Europe seven more times over the next 20 years, he made his home in Boston, where he taught piano, organ, and composition.  He developed a reputation as an outstanding teacher.

He composed mainly chamber and orchestral works that display influences from Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms, in addition to Wagner and, at times, Debussy.  I don’t find anything American at all about his music. Although he wrote some programmatic works, such as the symphonic prologue, Francesca da Rimini, and Four Character Pieces after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, even those were not inspired by American themes. But Foote usually composed in abstract forms.

Our first selection is an excellent example: his Serenade for Strings, Opus 25, written in 1891. It consists of five movements, each inspired by baroque or classical European forms. Nothing American about it. In this Dutton Digital Epoch compact disc from 2009, the London Octave is conducted by Kypros Markou.

MUSIC: Foote: Serenade for Strings, Op. 25, performed by the London Octave conducted by Kypros Markou [Dutton Epoch CDLX 7238, Tracks 6 - 10]  [27:00]

Arthur Foote’s Serenade for Strings, Opus 25, performed by the London Octave conducted by Kypros Markou.

You are listening to “A Foote for Your Ears” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[one-minute optional break not included in timing of program]

Arthur Foote’s Suite in D Minor for Piano was composed in 1886. The Prelude and Fugue show his interest in the Baroque period most strongly. The Romance begins like a simple bagatelle, but it unfolds with a passion, and the Capriccio finale becomes a showpiece as it reaches its conclusion. The pianist in this Piano Classics compact disc from 2013 is Artem Belogurov, playing an 1873 Chickering piano.

MUSIC: Foote: Suite No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15 performed by pianist Artem Belogurov. [Piano Classics PCL0080]  [12:17]

Arthur Foote’s Suite in D Minor for Piano. The pianist was Artem Belogurov.

You are getting an earful of Foote on this hour of Compact Discoveries.  I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

Foote taught piano, organ, and composition in Boston, where he also held posts as a church organist and appeared as a pianist with a quartet in performances of his own works. He was a founding member and president of the American Guild of Organists. He also taught piano at the New England Conservatory of Music from 1921 until 1937. In addition to more than 60 compositions, he wrote various theoretical and pedagogical works. He died in Boston in 1937.

I’ll conclude this hour with Arthur Foote’s Three Pieces for Flute and Piano, Opus 31, written in 1892 and 1893. The first is called Aubade Villageoise; the second, simply Mélodie; and the third is marked Pastorale. The flutist in this 1998 Laurel compact disc is Teresa Beaman. Jane Davis Maldonado is the pianist.

MUSIC: Foote: Three Pieces for Flute and Piano, Op. 31 performed by flutist Teresa Beaman with pianist Jane Davis Maldonado. [Laurel Records LR-857CD, Tracks 1-, 11, and 12]  [11:57]

Three Pieces for Flute and Piano by Arthur Foote performed by flutist Teresa Beaman with pianist Jane Davis Maldonado.

And that concludes our “Foote for Your Ears” hour on Compact Discoveries. If you missed part of the program or would like to hear it again, you can stream it on demand at compactdiscoveries.com. This is program number 253.

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This is your guide to Compact Discoveries, Fred Flaxman. Thank you for listening.

MUSIC: Arthur Foote: excerpt from opening of the third movement (“Intermezzo”) of Serenade for Strings, Op. 25, performed by the London Octave conducted by Kypros Markou [Dutton Epoch CDLX 7238, Track 8]

ANNOUNCER (Tana Flaxman): Production of Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida... and by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz…  Art and Eva Stevens... Shelley and Gilbert Harrison… the CD companies that supply the recordings used…  and ArkivMusic.com  the online store for classical music CDs, DVDs, downloads, and over 10,000 on-demand reissued titles.

Program Ends at 57:00