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

By Michael Hix

Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, through the first sector of the 20 th 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 academics Jean Verd and Nadia Boulanger. This formative event enormously formed his compositional sort and aesthetic. Upon returning to the USA, Erwin started his long occupation in radio and tv operating with Arthur Godfrey. In 1967, Erwin used to be commissioned by way of the yankee 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 track in the course of silent movie showings. He therefore ushered within the silent movie revival, carrying on with the style of stay 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 rankings to over a hundred silent films.

An American Organist in Paris provides Lee Orville Erwin's letters from France to his relatives in 1930-1931. In those letters, Erwin recounts his day-by-day reviews and encounters with a few 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 reviews of a tender musician but in addition mirror the typical reviews shared through the multitude of yankee composers who studied in France in this time. those letters are largely footnoted to supply readability and historical past details of the destinations and personalities mentioned. A biographical bankruptcy on Erwin, which outlines his huge musical profession and impression at the silent movie song revival within the twentieth century, is additionally incorporated. This e-book will function a special glimpse into the lifetime of certainly one of America's such a lot prolific composers for the theater organ.

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

Sample text

Tomorrow I have to visit the American Counsel [Consul] and register and then I have to go to the police department and get a card of identity and I don’t [know] what all. It’s a lot of trouble and takes a lot of time, but then it’s got to be done. I must get myself to bed now so as to be up bright and early in the morning to starting going the different places. I shall wait until a little later to write you what I find here and how I like the place and all. I’ll write probably Friday or Saturday.

Such terrific lessons as I’m having now, but for my part he can’t [give] me too much to do. We have had the mails hot with letters back and forth with Mr. Verre and now it’s all decided. We considered everything from every angle before finally deciding, but I think it’s the best thing to do as there’s certainly nothing to be lost and much gained in every way, and I shall be saving some money by doing so. indb 44 3/15/12 2:27 PM L ET T ERS T O MARY SH AVER ERWIN 45 Living there will [cost] next to nothing and lessons very little if anything at all.

Silent films, which had fallen out of fashion after the invention of sound film, had not been produced since the 1930s. But with a sense of nostalgia, cinemaphiles increasingly began to take interest in silent films and their preservation. During the 1960s, many individuals—actors and actresses, film collectors such as Jim Day, film historian and preservationist Raymond Rohauer, and others—began to take action to preserve the rapidly deteriorating celluloid films from the early 1900s. At the same time, there was a parallel movement to restore theaters and theater organs.

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