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David Bell


Malcolm Kemp
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On another current topic I have mentioned singing for a service in another town on Saturday. For all its big festivals and special services that church gets David Bell down from London (he lives in Wapping)to play the organ.

 

Not only is he an extremely nice, humble and unassuming person to talk to - and very knowledgeable - he is an exceptionally fine player with a formidable technique. Some Board members may know him as Master of the Guild of Musicians and Singers. At one time he was organist at The Annunciation, Marble Arch - a church which has seen better days - but the fact that he was also at one time regular organist to the Berlin Phil gives some idea of his stature as a player.

 

Yet outside a comparitively small circle nobody much seems to have heard of him or be aware of his playing these days. Surely he is one of the unjustly neglected greats of English organists? His Tournemire Te Deum played on a large 3-manual Hunter on Saturday was fantastic. Nobody in he church moved until he had finished; even the servers delayed putting out the candles and the choir delayed processing out until he had finished.

 

Malcolm Kemp

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I heard David Bell give a recital in Colyton, Devon c.1985. Oragn spec is/was:

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01462

It made a rather more impresive sound than you might think. SWestern board members may hold opinions...

 

Can't remember everything on the prog, but it included Franck Chorale no1 and Cocker tuba Tune (though the latter may have been an encore).

 

Apart from his playing being stunning, it was also completely from memory. Still, anyone who HvK rated must be a bit good!!

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