By Michael Hix
Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, in the course of the first area of the twentieth century, Alabama-born organist and composer Lee Orville Erwin, like the various twentieth century’s nice American composers, frolicked learning in Paris. From 1930 until eventually 1931 Erwin studied in France with organist André Marchal and the concord lecturers Jean Verd and Nadia Boulanger. This formative adventure significantly formed his compositional kind and aesthetic. Upon returning to the U.S., Erwin all started his long profession in radio and tv operating with Arthur Godfrey. In 1967, Erwin used to be commissioned through the yank Theater Organ Society to compose organ song for the Gloria Swanson movie Queen Kelly. It used to be this movie that led his profession again into the consoles of the good American theater organs. He toured broadly, taking part in millions of live shows of organ tune in the course of silent movie showings. He therefore ushered within the silent movie revival, carrying on with the style of dwell tune functionality accompanying movie. Erwin, believing that cue sheets initially compiled for those movies 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 kin 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 academics. 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 reports of a tender musician but additionally replicate the typical reports shared via the multitude of yankee composers who studied in France in this time. those letters are widely footnoted to supply readability and heritage details of the destinations and personalities mentioned. A biographical bankruptcy on Erwin, which outlines his broad musical occupation and influence at the silent movie song revival within the twentieth century, can be integrated. This ebook will function a different glimpse into the lifetime of one in all America's so much prolific composers for the theater organ.
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Extra resources for An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville Erwin, 1930-1931
Quinby provides a glimpse of the successful evening. We are still marveling over the splendid performance you turned out last night at the Gloria Swanson FROM SILENT TO SOUND show at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The score you composed and arranged for Queen Kelly is superb, and I am so glad to know that it was taped for future use. . Gloria Swanson’s charming appearance and personality at the microphone certainly captured the audience. Their sincere and prolonged applause brought genuine tears to her eyes—we were seated in the third row, and could plainly see her genuine emotion.
We have not done much all week but practice hard every day. During July and August the music season is a bit off here in Paris, but of course there’s always plenty of museums and things of that sort to visit. We have stuck pretty well at home tho until today. My teacher gave me such a fearful lot to do on the organ that I’ve had plenty to do. I like Mr. Marchal very well indeed. He is one of the most inspiring men imaginable. The latter part of this month Mr. Titus is going over into Germany for a few days to one of the music festivals in Munich.
I shall be looking forward to a letter from you, and I’ll write again before the week’s over. Hope you are all quite well and that everything [is] going along as it should. S. I am enclosing a blank check that I have signed so that you can get what I left in the Bham [Birmingham] bank out for me. There is no hurry for it at all, but just thought I’d send it along. indb 46 3/15/12 2:27 PM L ET T ERS T O MARY SH AVER ERWIN 47 14 Rue Royer-Collard Paris V, France Sunday Afternoon July 6, 1930 Dear Mother, Altho I have probably just as much to write I will not write such a long letter today on account of being slightly pressed for time.
An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville Erwin, 1930-1931 by Michael Hix