Richard (Irven) Purvis (August 25, 1913 – December 25, 1994) was an American organist, composer, conductor and teacher. He is especially remembered for his expressive recordings of the organ classics and his own lighter compositions for the instrument.
He entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1934. He was initially taught organ by Alexander McCurdy and conducting by Fritz Reiner. Further studies were with Josef Levine in New York, Dr. Edward Bairstow in England and Marcel Dupré in France. During World War II, while serving as a bandmaster, Purvis was captured and held as a prisoner of war for six months.
From 1947 through 1971, Purvis held the position of Organist and Master of Choristers at Grace Cathedral, where he helped to form a cathedral school for boys, ensuring the continuation of the all male choir tradition. He was also organist at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. Upon his retirement from Grace Cathedral, he continued to compose, teach and give recitals into his 70’s. He died on December 25, 1994 at the age of 81.
"A Retrospection" dates from 1969, and comes from a collection, "American Organ Music - a glance at the past 100 years". This is Volume Two, and was published by The Sacred Music Press.
"A Retrospection" is a typical piece for Purvis. It's high romantic, and calls for skills, such as manipulating two expression pedals simultaneously in opposite directions, etc.
The Hereford Willis is OK for this, but really not "romantic enough" to make the solos really sing. Still, it sounds nice.
I found that "varying" the way I played the recurring triplets providing more "expression" than an overly-excessive use of rubato... ;-)
Another "trial piece," I don't the old Wirsching is romantic enough for this one! It's a romantic organ - but in a "late 19th century," somewhat "Germanic" style.