Composer, organist, teacher and conductor Dudley Buck played an important role in 19th-century American musical life. Among the very first of our country’s well-trained organists, he was also a teacher of Charles Ives and the composer of such organ works as Variations and Fugue on the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the Grand Sonata in E Flat, and Concert Variations on “The Last Rose of Summer.” He also composed extensively for choir and for orchestra. This very readable biography places Buck in his era and provides a thorough, but non-technical, overview of his work and compositions. Of equal interest is Dr. Orr’s attention to the American culture that Buck both enriched and celebrated. A compact disc of examples of Buck’s music is bound into the book and there are interesting illustrations, as well as stop lists of important organs owned and played by Buck. Hardbound, 140 pages; copyright 2008.

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