Today, January 6th, is the Feast of the Epiphany. It is the day when the Three Kings arrive at the manger, and is the day that liturgically closes the Christmas season.
Richard Purvis (August 25, 1913 - December 25, 1994) was an American organist and composer. After early studies in the piano and the organ he entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1934. Further studies were with E. C. Bairstow, Marcel Dupré, and Charles Courboin.
During World War II, while serving as a bandmaster, Richard Purvis was captured and held as a prisoner of war for six months. In 1947 he was appointed to Grace Cathedral, where he helped to form a cathedral school for boys, thus continuing the all-male choir tradition. Purvis's long and distinguished career was marked by elegant service playing, conducting and composition. After his retirement in 1971 he continued to perform and compose.
"Chartres (Noël Varié)" was published by Leeds Music in 1946. The work is dedicated "For Marshall Bidwell." (1893-1966), a well-known American organist from Massachusetts, who had most of his career in the Pittsburgh area.
"Chartres (Noël Varié)," from "Four Carol Preludes" is characteristic of much of the music of Purvis. It has all the features that are associated with his writings: lush harmonies, creative and extensive use of solo stops, and always a sense of "popular appeal," with music that interests and even at times amuses the listener/worshipper. There are 3 instances where he calls for "percussion," but I think I found good "substitute" stops!
In this performance the Purvis work is immediately preceded by the hymn-tune, "Chartres", as harmonized by Charles Wood (1866-1926) with the full text given in the FIRST COMMENT.
The score is attached below, for the piece and the hymn, as well as several photos of Purvis, Wood, Bidwell and Grace Cathedral, SF.
As an interesting "side note," you'll see that I have Alec Wyton's score, but I have NO idea HOW I got it...