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, Edward Bairstow and Marcel Dupré.
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 age of 81.
"An American Organ Mass" was published by Harold Flammer Inc. in 1953. It is different from the usual "Organ Mass" as it sets only the Mass "propers" - Introit, Offertory, Postlude, etc. and NOT the "Ordinary" of the Mass, such as the Kyrie, Sanctus, etc.
For his thematic material, Purvis uses well-known melodies which range from Advent, through Christmas, and up to the Epiphany.
The style is typical of the composer, and although I had to be creative in "replicating/replacing" a few chime or harp parts, I think the Peterborough Hill really shines on this!
The timings for the individual movements are:
- Prélude Solennel (Veni Emmanuel)
- Introit (Christe Redemptor Omnium)
- Offertory (Resonet in laudibus)
- Interlude (Corner)
- Elevation (Vom Himmel Hoch)
- Communion (Gevaert)
- Carillon (Puer nobis nascitur)
Photos of Richard Purvis & of Grace Cathedral attached.
See FIRST COMMENT for more info.