An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville by Michael Hix

By Michael Hix

Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, throughout the first area of the 20 th century, Alabama-born organist and composer Lee Orville Erwin, like a number of the twentieth century’s nice American composers, hung out learning in Paris. From 1930 till 1931 Erwin studied in France with organist André Marchal and the concord academics Jean Verd and Nadia Boulanger. This formative event vastly formed his compositional variety and aesthetic. Upon returning to the USA, Erwin all started his long occupation in radio and tv operating with Arthur Godfrey. In 1967, Erwin was once commissioned by way of the yankee Theater Organ Society to compose organ tune for the Gloria Swanson movie Queen Kelly. It used to be this movie that led his profession again into the consoles of the nice American theater organs. He toured commonly, taking part in millions of concert events of organ tune in the course of silent movie showings. He hence ushered within the silent movie revival, carrying on with the style of reside track functionality accompanying movie. Erwin, believing that cue sheets initially compiled for those motion pictures through the silent movie period have been “full of the musical cliché’s of the 1920s,” composed new ratings to over a hundred silent films.

An American Organist in Paris offers Lee Orville Erwin's letters from France to his relations in 1930-1931. In those letters, Erwin recounts his day-by-day stories and encounters with many of the twentieth century's maximum musicians and lecturers. He writes of his classes with Marchal, Verd, and Boulanger and dinner events with Olivier Messiaen. Erwin's letters not just give you the singular reviews of a tender musician but additionally mirror the typical studies shared through the multitude of yankee composers who studied in France in this time. those letters are greatly footnoted to supply readability and historical past details of the destinations and personalities mentioned. A biographical bankruptcy on Erwin, which outlines his wide musical profession and impression at the silent movie track revival within the twentieth century, is additionally integrated. This e-book will function a different glimpse into the lifetime of considered one of America's such a lot prolific composers for the theater organ.

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Extra info for An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville Erwin, 1930-1931

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That same year, Erwin found himself on the silver screen in the Woody Allen movie Radio Days. 71 Given Erwin’s involvement with such a historical musical tradition, it is noteworthy that he also composed avant-garde electronic music during the 1960s and 1970s. 11. Lee Erwin in concert. Franck, and Bach—with sections of improvised music. This piece demonstrates his awareness of current trends in musical composition. In addition to writing experimental compositions, Erwin served on the faculty of Hunter College (later renamed Lehman College) in New York as a professor of electronic music.

It will be a rush for him to get away because he has a million and one things he wants to do before leaving. indb 50 3/15/12 2:27 PM L ET T ERS T O MARY SH AVER ERWIN 51 buy for his family, and museums etc he wants to see yet. He has gone to the Louvre this afternoon. (I didn’t go tho’ because I had so much to do here). Then the following Tuesday (Aug. m. I take a train and meet Mr. Titus in Magagnosc the next day. ” I shall stay on down there until the last of Sept.

My mail, so far, has been very scarce but I suppose I shall be hearing from quite a few people this coming week. I wrote a number of letters on the boat that I should be hearing from. When you start receiving my letters you will be about three behind so I’ll expecting them all. Sunday July 13, 1930 Dear Mother, Have just gotten home after a bite of supper, having been out all day. The first thing this morning we went to hear Marchal play and then we went to a new church. A Russian Cathedral and it was the most interesting service I have attended since arriving in Paris.

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