By Michael Hix

Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, in the course of the first area of the 20 th century, Alabama-born organist and composer Lee Orville Erwin, like some of the twentieth century’s nice American composers, hung out 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 tremendously 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 yank Theater Organ Society to compose organ tune for the Gloria Swanson movie Queen Kelly. It was once this movie that led his profession again into the consoles of the good American theater organs. He toured commonly, enjoying 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 dwell song functionality accompanying movie. Erwin, believing that cue sheets initially compiled for those movies throughout 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 kinfolk in 1930-1931. In those letters, Erwin recounts his day-by-day reviews and encounters with the various 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 studies of a tender musician but additionally replicate the typical studies shared by means of the multitude of yankee composers who studied in France in this time. those letters are commonly footnoted to supply readability and historical past info of the destinations and personalities mentioned. A biographical bankruptcy on Erwin, which outlines his vast musical occupation and influence at the silent movie track revival within the twentieth century, is additionally incorporated. This e-book will function a different glimpse into the lifetime of considered one of America's so much prolific composers for the theater organ.

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