Dudley Buck

Biography

Born: March 10, 1839; Hartford, CT   Died: October 6, 1909; West Orange, NJ  
The ultimate Victorian musician in America, New England-born and German-trained Dudley Buck was in the 1880s the nation's most-performed choral composer. He was also a pedagogue and a popular touring organist; today he is remembered almost exclusively for his organ variations on The Star-Spangled Banner.

Buck didn't begin to study the piano until the comparatively late age of sixteen, as he entered Hartford, Connecticut's Trinity College.
Read more Music quickly became his passion, and two years later he left to study at the Leipzig Conservatory, as did many of his American contemporaries. In Germany, Buck studied with, among others, Ignatz Moscheles. In 1860 he went with his organ teacher to Dresden, then on his own moved on to Paris. Buck found his way back to Hartford in 1862 and took a job as organist at the city's North Congregational Church. Not content to remain a provincial church musician, Buck began touring as a concert organist, playing transcriptions of symphonic works, giving the first American performances of pieces by Bach and Mendelssohn, and offering his own music. He is credited with composing the first organ sonata in America.

Buck needed a larger venue for his talent. He moved to Chicago in 1869, but the Great Fire of 1871 drove him to Boston, where he began teaching at the New England Conservatory. There, in proximity to the Handel and Haydn Society, Buck began writing large-scale choral works. Among these were sacred compositions, including a setting of the forty-sixth psalm, as well as secular cantatas, such as 1874's The Legend of Don Munio.

In 1875 he permanently relocated to the New York area, taking a job as assistant conductor with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, directing the Apollo Club, and assuming the duties of organist and choirmaster at Holy Trinity Church, and this period brought him increasing recognition as a composer of church music. Reportedly, his optimistic, Manifest Destiny style of choral works, including his dozen secular cantatas, received more performances in America in the 1880s than any other composer's music. Along the way, he issued several instructional manuals on organ playing and choral accompaniment.

Despite his occasional use of American topics, Buck wrote music in the conventional German style of the day, lyrical, well crafted, but a bit stodgy by later standards. His choral works, not surprisingly, also found favor in England, which hosted the 1885 premiere of his The Light of Asia. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 27 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Britannic Organ, Vol. 6: Welte's British Organists; Five Victorian Virtuosi
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 845 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Alfred Hollins,  George Elbridge Whiting,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Hollins,  Harry Goss-Custard,  William Wolstenholme,  Herbert Walton  ... 
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  • 2.
    Historical Organs Of Southeastern Massachusetts
    Label: Organ Historical   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  H. Alexander Matthews,  Edward MacDowell,  Traditional,  M. Searle Wright  ... 
    Performer:  Brian Jones,  Peter Krasinski,  Cheryl Drewes,  Thomas W. D. Guthrie  ... 
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  • 3.
    Variations On America / Rudolf Innig
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9171809 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives,  Gioachino Rossini,  Dudley Buck,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Innig
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  • 4.
    Organo Plano
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 944 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Conrad Susa,  Jean-Adam Guilain,  Nicolaus Bruhns,  Eugene Gigout  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Montgomery
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  • 5.
    American Salute
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11191 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dudley Buck,  Edwin Eugene Bagley,  Louis Panella,  Charles Parker  ... 
    Conductor:  Larry H. Lang,  Jack Stamp
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  • 6.
    Romantic And Virtuosic / Adam Brakel
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 933 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dudley Buck,  Herbert Nanney,  Joseph Bonnet,  Max Reger  ... 
    Performer:  Adam Brakel
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  • 7.
    Made In America / Army Ground Forces Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 707902 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Fillmore,  George Gershwin,  Leonard Bernstein,  Morton Gould  ... 
    Conductor:  Dwayne Milburn,  Leonel A. Pena
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Army Ground Forces Band
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  • 8.
    I Am An American / United States Air Force Concert Band & Singing Sergeants
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 70412 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Floyd Werlé,  Dudley Buck,  Carmen Dragon,  Morton Gould  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Hawkins Wiley,  Anne Seaton
    Conductor:  Lowell E. Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Singing Sergeants,  United States Air Force Concert Band
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  • 9.
    American Pioneers - Carpenter,  Macdowell,  Buck,  Foote, Knowles Paine
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 41118 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Alden Carpenter,  John Knowles Paine,  Edward MacDowell,  Arthur Foote  ... 
    Conductor:  Kenneth Klein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Organ Fireworks Vol 14 / Christopher Herrick
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67758 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Paul Spicer,  César Franck,  Iain Farrington  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Herrick
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  • 11.
    Historic Organs Of Indiana
    Label: Organ Historical   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Mathias,  Robert Hebble,  Unspecified,  David Conte  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Ellis,  Edie Johnson,  Marko Petricic,  Carla Edwards  ... 
    Conductor:  Jack L. Fox
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  • 12.
    Variations On America - Organ Spectacular / Simon Preston
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421731 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Charles Ives,  Dudley Buck  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston
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  • 13.
    A Centennial Celebration At Sacred Heart Church, Westbury
    Label: Afka   Catalog: 520 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Horatio Parker,  Dudley Buck,  Joseph Rheinberger
    Performer:  Susan Armstrong-Ouellette
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  • 14.
    Songs Of An Innocent Age / Paul Sperry, Irma Vallecillo
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 34 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amy Marcy Beach,  Carrie Jacobs-Bond,  Henry Clough-Leiter,  Dudley Buck  ... 
    Performer:  Irma Vallecillo,  Paul Sperry
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  • 15.
    American Organ Music 1890-1940 / Samuel John Swartz
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 1090 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dudley Buck,  Horace Alden Miller,  Lynnwood Farnam,  Edwin Lemare  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel John Swartz
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  • 16.
    Organa Americana - Shearing, Buck, Et Al / Tom Trenney
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7196 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anne Wilson,  George Shearing,  Dudley Buck,  Craig Phillips  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Trenney,  Andrew Kotylo
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  • 17.
    Historic Organs Of Boston - Thirty-one Historic Pipe Organs
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Matthias Weckmann,  John Jenkins,  Louis-Nicolas Clérambault  ... 
    Performer:  Kimberly Ann Hess,  Peter Sykes,  Margaret Irwin-Brandon,  Andrew Scanlon  ... 
    Conductor:  Edith Ho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Church of the Advent Choir
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 18.
    Dreams And Achievements
    Label: Mark Custom Recording Service,   Catalog: 4720 Release Date: 01/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dudley Buck,  Michael Colgrass,  David Gillingham,  Shafer Mahoney
    Performer:  Debra Richtmeyer
    Conductor:  James Keene
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 19.
    2000 TMEA - United States Air Force Band And Singing Sergeants
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 3292 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Dudley Buck,  Samuel Augustus Ward
    Conductor:  Lowell Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Antonio Children's Chorus,  San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers,  Southwestern University Chorale  ... 
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 20.
    Historic Organs Of Connecticut - 35 Historic Pipe Organs
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 94 Release Date: 12/16/1997   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gottfried August Homilius,  Amy Marcy Beach,  John Stanley,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  David Dahl,  Ardyth Lohuis,  Robert Murray,  Victoria Wagner  ... 
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 21.
    Skyscrapers / Klein, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 235 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Alden Carpenter,  Arthur Foote,  Edward MacDowell,  Dudley Buck  ... 
    Conductor:  Kenneth Klein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Organ History - Organ Music In America / Arturo Sacchetti
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47272 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henrique Oswald,  Arthur Foote,  Alberto Nepomuceno,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Sacchetti
    On sale! $11.98
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  • 23.
    Yankee: Come Home! - Historic Organs Of Newburyport, Mass
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 11/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Christian H Rinck,  David P. Ruhl,  Dudley Buck,  Arthur Foote  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Ruhl Metson
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 24.
    Live From Spivey Hall / Alan Morrison
    Label: Aca Digital   Catalog: 20022 Release Date: 05/05/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernesto Lecuona,  Dudley Buck,  Jon Spong,  Dan Locklair  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Morrison
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 25.
    Fugues, Fantasia, And Variations - 19th Century... / Morris
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80280 Release Date: 10/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Elbridge Whiting,  John Knowles Paine,  Horatio Parker,  Whitney Eugene Thayer  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Morris
    On sale! $19.98
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