Solo Piano Music
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William Ferris was well-known as a distinguished conductor. This recording (the second of his works on Albany Records) shows that he was also a distinguished composer.

William Ferris studied composition with Leo Sowerby, orchestration and conducting with Alexander Tcherepnin, choral conducting and organ in Chicago. Like Sowerby before him, he wrote for the church and the concert hall. Ferris was fond of saying that his first aesthetic experience came as a boy soprano in the Cardinal's Cathedral Choristers of Holy Name Cathedral. The inherent drama of the Catholic liturgies moved him greatly and when his voice broke, he was appointed Cathedral organist, a position he held for seven years. During the turbulent sixties, he moved to Rochester, New York, to become organist and choirmaster for Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. He returned to Chicago in 1971, served as organist at The Church of Our Savior and after 10 years teaching composition and theory at the American Conservatory of Music, became Music Director and Composer in Residence at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, where he established one of the nation's finest Catholic liturgical music programs, composing psalms, anthems and Masses for the weekly liturgies. In 1972, he founded the William Ferris Chorale, an ensemble specializing in 20th century choral music. Ferris was a distinguished conductor who championed 20th century music. He received numerous awards and honors and was the first American composer to teach at the Vatican. Stylistically, his music is informed by the Gregorian chant and polyphony he sang as a child, by the formal structures he absorbed as an organist and in his studies with Sowerby and by his love for the emotional directness of Italian opera, especially the works of Verdi and Puccini. The basis for his musical language is a lyrical gift for long-lined melody - even his instrumental works "sing" with a vocal character. He died suddenly on May 16, 2000 while conducting a rehearsal of one of his favorite works, the Verdi "Requiem.
Contents:
William Ferris, composer
Piano Sonata
Justin Kolb, piano

William Ferris, composer
A Suffolk Memory: A Suite of Impressions for Piano
Justin Kolb, piano

William Ferris, composer
Epitaph, for an Artist
Justin Kolb, piano

William Ferris, composer
Serenade, for a Morning Room
Justin Kolb, piano

William Ferris, composer
Tune for Ten
Justin Kolb, piano

William Ferris, composer
Sonatina
Justin Kolb, piano

Review:
Review to come.
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