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Coventry Cathedral Mk1


handsoff
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I today arrived a bit early for the lunchtime recital at Coventry Cathedral Mk2 so spent a while wandering about the ruins of the old one. The position of the Willis organ is shown on a floor plan and I've seen the specification of the instrument on NPOR. I know that it's a long shot given that the cathedral was destroyed in WWII but is anyone aware of a recording of the the Willis?

 

Incidentally, Paul Joslin started the recital with Arthur Wills' "Fanfare", today apparently being the composer's 85th birthday...

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I today arrived a bit early for the lunchtime recital at Coventry Cathedral Mk2 so spent a while wandering about the ruins of the old one. The position of the Willis organ is shown on a floor plan and I've seen the specification of the instrument on NPOR. I know that it's a long shot given that the cathedral was destroyed in WWII but is anyone aware of a recording of the the Willis?

 

Incidentally, Paul Joslin started the recital with Arthur Wills' "Fanfare", today apparently being the composer's 85th birthday...

 

 

=========================

 

I knew a chap by the name of Leslie Wilkinson, who had lived in Coventry during the war years. He had a simply vast collection of records, and even sat on the organ-committee for the new cathedral, but having poured over his collection in my youth, I have absolutely no recollection of an older recording than that in the EMI series, played by David Lepine on the new instrument.

 

If a recording had existed, he would have had it, for sure.

 

Sorry!

 

MM

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Thanks MM, I appreciate you raiding the memory banks. I have certainly never seen any mention of such a recording - a great pity.

 

 

Indeed - a similar situation transpired at Saint Alban's, Holborn. I doubt that the previous Willis there was recorded either (prior to the rebuild carried out by the Luftwaffe).

 

I suppose that one could always listen to a current recording of the Willis organ of Truro Cathedral - and ignore the six-second reverberation. This scheme was, on paper, similar to both that at the original Coventry Cathedral* and Saint Alban's, Holborn.

 

 

 

*If one discounts the additions made to this instrument by J. Charles Lee.

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As a bit of an aside, I went on Monday to Coventry for the final recital of the series, given by Kerry Beaumont, the DoM.

 

I had never before heard him play having been unable to get to his earlier concert; what an omission on my part. The programme was quite diverse and demonstrated just about every one of the organ's colours and sonorities, ending with an improvisation on submitted themes (The Coventry Carol and Sur le Pont D'Avignon). The second of those was a real gift and the improv on it just blew me away. It was almost like hearing a Pierre Cochereau live performance with a few more twists and turns (KB was a pupil of PC). The ending on full organ was stunning.

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