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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: Sowerby Concerto

December 19, 2005

Dear Michael:
1. Has anybody recorded the Sowerby Organ Concerto in C –that E Power Biggs performed a number of years ago?

2. What would the possibility of doing an all Richard Ellsasser or an all Richard Purvis program?

Warmest regards

ED Terry
Hazlet, NJ


Dear Ed:
The Sowerby Concerto in C was performed at the AGO National Convention in Los Angeles in 2004. That event was recorded for PIPEDREAMS, and we will be broadcasting it soon. Keep track of program listings in 2006.

As for the two Richards, though I have a quantity of Ellsasser’s LP albums in my library, their sound quality is not wonderful. Believe me, though, I have been thinking about doing something with/for Ellsasser, a vivid talent mostly forgotten by folks today. Was he not the first to record the ‘complete’ organ works of Franz Liszt (as well as a quantity of other under-served music, including modern composers of his era)?

By coincidence, I was auditioning a concert performance of the Dialogue Monastique for Two Organs by Richard Purvis. Rumor had it that Tom Hazleton had recorded an all-Purvis CD at Grace Cathedral (he played a concert of that music a season or so ago), but if has been released I have not yet seen it. Let’s cross our fingers. Again, Purvis’s own recordings are somewhat sonically challenged, though his playing is elegant.



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