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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

[Richard Purvis][decorative stamp]
Richard Purvis

[James Welch][decorative stamp]
James Welch

[1934 Aeolian-Skinner at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA][decorative stamp]
1934 Aeolian-Skinner at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

[1928 Kimball organ at Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN][decorative stamp]
1928 Kimball at Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN

[1927–2003 Casavant organ at Memorial Chapel, University of Redlands, CA][decorative stamp]
1927–2003 Casavant at Memorial Chapel, University of Redlands, CA

Purvis Pieces

…a centenary tribute to the celebrated San Francisco organist-composer Richard Purvis (1913-1994).

Audio Complete Show 1 hr 58 Min

Audio 1332 Hour 1 59:00 Min

Audio 1332 Hour 2 59:00 Min

Program Broadcast dates:

  • Week of August 8, 2013

Links and Resources:

Music played in the program

Hour 1

RICHARD PURVIS: Fantasia on Ton-y-BotelTom Hazleton (1934 Aeolian-Skinner/Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA) Pipedreams Archive (r. 9/7/2003)

PURVIS: 4 Pieces (Cantilena on Green Boughs; Les Cloches; Nocturne, A Night in Monterey; Marche Grotesque) –Keith Thompson (1970 Aeolian-Skinner/National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC) EDCD 4721; Richard Purvis, in the Nocturne (1934 Aeolian-Skinner/Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA) Essential Media 2

PURVIS: Dies IraeTom Hazleton (1934 Aeolian-Skinner/Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA) Pipedreams Archive (r. 9/7/2003)

PURVIS: Partita on Christ ist erstandenFrederick Swann (1927-2003 Casavant/Memorial Chapel, University of Redlands, CA) Gothic 49271

Hour 2

PURVIS: Pastorale on Forest GreenTodd Wilson (1961-1991 Aeolian-Skinner/Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, GA) Delos 3145

PURVIS: Saint Francis Suite –Christian Elliott (Wanamaker Grand Court Organ/Macy's Downtown Philadelphia, PA) Pipedreams Archive (r. 6/29/2013)

PURVIS: Capriccio (On the Notes of the Cuckoo) –Lorenz Maycher (1962 Aeolian-Skinner, St. Mark's Episcopal, Beumont, TX) Vermont Organ Academy VTOA Op. 3

PURVIS: Dialogue MonastiqueJonas Nordwall & Tom Hazleton (Collins Memorial Pipe Organ + Rodgers 945 electronic organ/1st United Methodist Church, Portland, OR) TCD 001

PURVIS: GreensleevesJohn Walker (1995 Reuter/Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA) Pro Organo 7189

PURVIS: Carol Rhapsody –Richard Purvis (1934 Aeolian-Skinner/Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA) Essential Media 3

PURVIS: Fanfare, fr A Trio of ContrastsTom Hazleton (1928 Kimball/Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN) Pipedreams Archive (r. 6/26/1987)

PURVIS: 2 Pieces (Novelette No. 2; A Retrospection) –Jeremy Filsell (Aeolian-Skinner/National Cathedral, Washington, DC) Raven 942

PURVIS: Thanksgiving, fr Four Prayers in Tone –Tom Hazleton (1934 Aeolian-Skinner/Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA) Pipedreams Archive (r. 9/7/2003)


James Welch, organist and author, has recently published the first full accounting of the life and work of this famed California composer and performer, Richard Purvis, Organist of Grace, and he provides comments throughout our program. Unfortunately, many of Purvis' scores are out of print, but some remain available here.


For online listeners, we provide these extra audio treats:

PURVIS: Of Moor and Fen, fr 7 Folktone Poems (1968) –Tom Hazleton (1928 Kimball/Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN) Pipedreams Archive (r. 6/26/1987)

PURVIS: March Grotesque, fr 4 Dubious Conceits (1952) –Tom Hazleton (1934 Aeolian-Skinner/Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA) Pipedreams Archive (r. 6/26/1987)


Listen to these further anecdotes about Richard Purvis from Biographer James Welch:

A story from Edward Millington Stout

Reflections on a career direction (Hollywood) not taken

From California to Curtis to California again

Some glimpses of the Purvis personality, and the war experience


An archive recording from the 1970s from a radio program hosted by Wanamaker organist Keith Chapman (courtesy of FOWO):

Comments by Richard Purvis on his compositional 'style'