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Christ Church, Spitalfields


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This is an historically significant instrument. Given that its restoration was entrusted to the late Bill Drake I was expecting its re-inauguration to be equally significant and welcomed, so I was very surprised to find no comment upon it here. Did anyone go to John Scott's opening recital? Any impressions? I think it was Bill himself who told me that they were having to re-invent the French Horn stop from scratch as no contemporary examples survived.

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Guest Geoff McMahon

I was indeed there. The church was packed with the Good and Great and it was a spectacular occasion. John Scott did us all and the organ proud and it was a very special occasion. There is little doubt that Bill would have been proud and his team did an excellent job in finishing off the work he had started. John played mostly appropriate English music, as one would expect and finished up with some Bach, which came off rather well I thought. The organ looks grand (was once the largest in the UK) and a very fitting crowning to a generally excellent restoration of Christ Church itself.

 

I am not sure of this, but I believe Bill and his team had one or two pipes to act as a fairly rudimentary guide to the French Horn and we were treated to it, of course, in John Scott's recital. It is not really possible to know if it represents what was there, but it certainly sounded pretty convincing to me.

 

John

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James O'Donnell is giving a recital there as part of the St Albans Festival. Monday 13 July, 1pm, music by Prelleur, Purcell, Blow, Pepusch and Charles Wesley.

 

The organ is then being used the following day, morning and afternoon, for the first pair of the Interpretation Competition semi-finals.

 

Ian

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