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Great Cathedral Organ Series


Martin Cooke
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I notice that Westminster Abbey (Guest), Coventry (Lepine), Gloucester (Sumsion) and Liverpool (Rawsthorne) LPs are all available on Ebay at the moment. Slightly infuriatingly, I can't find out what music is on the Westminster Abbey one - I know it has the Howells Prelude 'Sine Nomine' - does anyone know what else is on it? I'm slightly intrigued to hear Douglas Guest's performance - does anyone go back far enough to have heard him? Was he good?

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I can't find out what music is on the Westminster Abbey one - I know it has the Howells Prelude 'Sine Nomine' - does anyone know what else is on it?

 

J S Bach - Toccata in C maj BWV 564

Festing arr Thalben Ball - Largo, Allegro and 2 variations

Tomkins - Voluntary, Fancy, In Nomine

Mendelssohn - Sonata no 4 in B flat major Op 65, First movement

 

Howells - Saraband

Howells - Preludio "Sine Nomine"

Rheinberger - Sonata no 8 in E maj Op 132, Intro & passacaglia

 

PJW

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This was one of the first organ LPs I bought. I've not listened to it for decades, but IIRC the recording sounds a touch distant. The best thing about it is the Rheinberger, which he really does play very well (in the Harvey Grace mould). The LP is worth getting for that alone. I never found the rest of the disc particularly gripping, although the Howells pieces are effective and atmospheric, especially "Sine nomine". The early music, frankly, just sounds plain wrong on this organ, though Guest gets full marks from me for giving the excellent Tomkins an airing.

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Many thanks to PJW for listing the tracks. Not over exciting is it?!

 

No, but it was also one of the first LP's I had. I rather liked the Festing but then I thought the whole of the series was a wonderful introduction to lots of organ music and Cathedral organs. My tastes have now changed somewhat over the years.

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No, but it was also one of the first LP's I had. I rather liked the Festing but then I thought the whole of the series was a wonderful introduction to lots of organ music and Cathedral organs. My tastes have now changed somewhat over the years.

 

It was certainly a fascinating and ground-breaking series for its time, and thanks to my local record library, I remember working my way through much of EMI's GCOS when I was of school age. I am sure that many will be aware that selections from the series have been remastered and are available on four CDs (Amphion Recordings). Of all the players heard in the series, Francis Jackson alone is notable for having an entire CD devoted to him comprising pieces from his 1964 GCOS recording and from a 1973 recording for another label.

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Many thanks to PJW for listing the tracks. Not over exciting is it?!

I beg to differ.

 

When this was released, like most people I suspect, in my ignorance I had never heard of - let alone heard - Tomkins et al. This was a personal Road to Damascus.

 

Would any of us have picked DG as the man to begin the rehabilitation of those wonderful Tudor keyboard composers?

 

MGP

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