Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
Jonathan Thorne

Trying To Locate A Church In Greater London

Recommended Posts

Dear people. I’m trying locate a church in Greater London not far from St. Andrews Holborn. I only visited the church once back in 2000, but can’t remember what the name of it was. It was Catholic and the organ was a Compton on the west gallery. The interior was painted (e.g. a massive painting on the ceiling towards the east of end of the church). The acoustics were fantastic and it was a very lofty building. Sorry it’s not enough information but do you any of you people have any ideas where this church is located or where I could find more info?

 

Many thanks

 

JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dear people. I’m trying locate a church in Greater London not far from St. Andrews Holborn. I only visited the church once back in 2000, but can’t remember what the name of it was. It was Catholic and the organ was a Compton on the west gallery. The interior was painted (e.g. a massive painting on the ceiling towards the east of end of the church). The acoustics were fantastic and it was a very lofty building. Sorry it’s not enough information but do you any of you people have any ideas where this church is located or where I could find more info?

 

Many thanks

 

JT

 

Is it St Alban's Holborn which is Anglo Catholic? Web Site here : http://www.stalbans-holborn.com

 

The organ fits your description - http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N17549

 

I went to a Sunday Mass about thirty years ago and remember the organ as being very big for the building. There is a lot on their web site about the music tradition which features some prominent names of the past http://www.stalbans-holborn.com/history_of...at_s_albans.htm. Although not in the list of Directors of Music I seem to remember Barry Rose was on the music staff before he went to St Paul's.

 

As you say, super building and acoustics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if your tastes incline that way then you can get yourself a seasonal souvenir in the form of a CD of Christmas carols recorded there in 2002(York CD 169 Andrew Carter's Christmas Carols ) with a bespoke choir apparently assembled for the occasion and John Scott at the organ. A little different from your 25 all time favourites CD but nothing to frighten the horses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you must mean St Alban the Martyr, Holborn.........www.stalbans-holborn.com

 

The organ is here http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N17549

 

Graham

 

Yes it's a late Compton instrument. I had the pleasure of playing it a few months ago when John & Eric Shepherd were given the job of looking after it. Some of the pipework was found to have been on far too low a pressure and this has been corrected.

 

John R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes it's a late Compton instrument. I had the pleasure of playing it a few months ago when John & Eric Shepherd were given the job of looking after it. Some of the pipework was found to have been on far too low a pressure and this has been corrected.

 

John R

 

I don't know the instrument, but am I right in thinking it was once referred to as the loudest organ in London?

 

Graham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear People. Can I say very much thanks for your input in the past few hours! The Church website and description has re-jogged my memory and it is the church I remember. In fact the exterior reminds me of St. Albans the Martyr Conybere Street Birmingham – another great building by John Loughborough Pearson (1817 - 1897), which houses a Rushworth and Dreaper organ. The red brick and the white cement look similar at both churches. I wonder how accessible the organ is…..

 

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a lot on their web site about the music tradition which features some prominent names of the past http://www.stalbans-holborn.com/history_of...at_s_albans.htm.

 

"prominent names" indeed ...

 

George Oldroyd, G. D. Cunningham and Arnold Richardson certainly all qualify, but the one that stood out particularly for me was Reginald Goodall.

 

I had no idea that he had been a church musician earlier in his career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dear people. I’m trying locate a church in Greater London not far from St. Andrews Holborn. I only visited the church once back in 2000, but can’t remember what the name of it was. It was Catholic and the organ was a Compton on the west gallery. The interior was painted (e.g. a massive painting on the ceiling towards the east of end of the church). The acoustics were fantastic and it was a very lofty building. Sorry it’s not enough information but do you any of you people have any ideas where this church is located or where I could find more info?

 

Many thanks

 

JT

 

Hi

 

Probably no use in this case, but NPOR has a "neighbourhood search" function that allows you to search for buidlings with surveys within a specified radius of a location. That can be useful - but in London it can produce a very long list of results!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael Foley and Michael Fleming both ran the music at St Alban's Holborn. A former vicar, Fr Peter Priest, was himself an organist and Whitlock's Divertimento is dedicated to him.

 

Marvellous church, music, liturgy and religion but awful acoustics - rathe like a giant bathroom. A former Vicar of mine (long deceased) used to refer to St Alban's as having three levels of dynamics - loud, very loud and deafening.

 

Malcolm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Just reading this (and knowing the church and organ pretty well), I have in the back of my mind that this was the church Messiaen came to* when he was first invited to London (by Felix Aprahamian - I also seem to remember). If none of this is correct (as it is written after a most spiritual Sunday luncheon), I shall delete or amend.

CONFIRMED! Felix arranged for Messiaen to perform La Nativité on the Father Willis instrument in the pre-bombing St Alban's Holborn on 26 June 1938. Arnold Richardson had, by that time, succeeded Reginald Goodall as organist there. Arnold Richardson (who left to become the Civic Organist in Wolverhampton and who examined me for my Pianoforte Ass Board Grade V), had given the first complete UK performance of La Nativité. Reginald Goodall was the great Man of the Baton at the ENO when I was round the corner at St Martin-in-the-Fields. His Wagner was legendary with Rita Hunter (amongst other notables).

 

The present rather cavernous building was constructed following the Butterfield original's destruction in WW2 by incendiary bombs in 1941 I think. Was it Adrian Gilbert Scott who built the present?

I got to know all this as it was part of the Anglo-Catholic life of London of which my own church and parish was a part - (St Augustine's, Kilburn in City of Westminster) and my lead soprano taught at St Alban's School.

 

Best wishes,

Nigel

 

 

* The original church, not the present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original building had a four-clavier FHW, with an almost identical specification to that at Truro Cathedral. Three differences were that the 32ft. at Saint Alban the Martyr was a stopped 16ft. The Pedal Organ on this instrument also had a Mixture (which Truro lacked). In addition, I am fairly certain that the Solo Organ (or at least the orchestral reeds) was enclosed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know the instrument, but am I right in thinking it was once referred to as the loudest organ in London?

 

Graham

 

I recall Michael Flemming giving a very credible explanation of why it is so loud.

During the reconstruction of the interior of the church after it was burned out in the war, the installation and final voicing of the organ overlapped with the end of the interior decoration work. A fair amount of scaffolding, including wooden scaffold boards etc. was still in the building. Everything sounded fine until the scaffolding was removed, and the true resonance was revealed. That was after the organ was finished - by which time it was too late to make changes.

 

I guess the interior might be due for re-decoration soon - so will there be an opportunity to test this story?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...