Steinbeck Suite for Organ Published by Zimbel Press

Cover image of Steinbeck Suite, a new work for pipe organ

Steinbeck Suite for Organ, a new work by the American composer Franklin D. Ashdown, has been published by Zimbel Press. Commissioned in celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath and in memory of Randall Ray, the five-movement work was premiered by the organ music expert and virtuoso James Welch on the pipe organ of California’s Mission Santa Clara in February 2014. The performance, which can be heard in full here, was recently repeated on a program of organ music related to Steinbeck’s life and writing played by Welch at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Steinbeck’s childhood parish in Salinas. Ashdown’s colorful and dramatic piece is believed to be the only example of organ music written with Steinbeck specifically in mind. Passages from The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat, Ashdown’s favorite Steinbeck novels, are quoted in headnotes above each movement. According to pipe organ enthusiasts who have heard or played the piece, it is technically challenging but well-suited for use as service organ music on most pipe organs. The 18-minute work is available from Subito Music Corporation.

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  1. […] by Carlisle Floyd and Ricky Ian Gordon, even motivated the composition of recent organ music by Franklin D. Ashdown and Lothar Bandermann. Such eclecticism seems especially appropriate for an author who sang in the […]

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