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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: Robert Hebble

December 16, 2005

Dear Michael:
First I have to say: I love the show! I live in Holland (where most of the available recordings are same old, sam old) and I’m very happy this radioprogram exist and is also available as a website.

Well, her is my question: You did more than one show devoted to an all American organist (like Paul Halley or Virgil Fox, etc.). The one we did not hear much from is Robert Hebble. I tell you this guy is abolutely amazing, his compositions are really brilliant but not much heard. So, are you ever going to make a special about Robert Hebble? In wich you include works like: Ahoc Dies Resurgam (a special compositions for the new Trompeta Majestatis at Riverside), Schematics, Soft Stillness and the Night, Pastel, Celebration and Exultate Deo just as a suggestion perhaps? It would also be great if you did an interview with him about, say, his time as a pupil of Virgil Fox and Nadia Boulanger? Or how he composes his music?

Well, I would be very glad to hear it in the show.

Best wishes from an organ enthusiastic from the Netherlands!

Dave Albrecht
Rotterdam The Netherlands


Dear Dave:
I’m glad that you are enjoying PIPEDREAMS online in The Netherlands, and agree that we probably do include a lot of music (and instruments) that you folks don’t hear or have easy access to.

As for Robert Hebble, I agree that his music is very interesting, but very little of it has been recorded. I do have a few pieces ‘awaiting their moment’ in my ready reserve, and they will eventually find their way into a program. But there is very little commercially available. Yes, an interview would be nice, too, but unfortunately, I cannot be everywhere and cover everything myself. Perhaps if more organists would explore more repertoire, regularly, then we might have more Hebble available. Sadly, even his exquisite arrangement of Londonderry Air is out of print. But yours is a good suggestion, and who knows whether I may find a way to act upon it. Keep your fingers crossed (though I’d need to live to be 120 to get to all of the good ideas…).



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