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OUP Albums of old

Martin Cooke

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"O.U.P. albums of that era are very confusing - so many similar titles - though they contain some good music"


I picked up this quote of Dafyyd's from the other thread discussing new OUP publications and the Organists' Review article on the old OUP Modern Organ Music albums. 

I agree with Dafyyd and very much grew up with those OUP albums many of which had the black and white photo of the organ case from St George's, Hanover Square on the cover. I was first aware of them through Harry Gabb playing Gordon Jacob's Festal Flourish after services at St Paul's. This is is An Album of Praise which contains some other excellent pieces by, amongst others, Flor Peeters, Healey Willan and Peter Hurford. 

Could we consider what favourites other forumites have from any OUP albums of old? Which have stood the test of time? Have we heard any played anywhere lately... ever?

I did hear one piece played on television once! It was in the days when organists played their own voluntaries at the end of Songs of Praise... so, actually, in reality I just heard the opening two bars before fade out. Must have been late 70s, very early 80s because they were using the Herbert Chappell piece* by the late 80s, I think. I'll reveal what it was another time and it will be interesting to see if anyone mentions it in the meantime. 

Meanwhile, I feel moved to start a thread about publications by another publishing house!


* Not an OUP piece, but I did once hear this played by Alan Thurlow after a Saturday evensong at Chichester Cathedral... on the Allen. Not a bad voluntary (especially in the outer sections) as long as you have the right stops for the reed bits. 

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I've got quite a few of the Oxford organ albums - including the following;

  • An Album of Praise (mentioned by Martin above). I think this is the only one I've played all the pieces contained therein. Especially the Gordon Jacob piece.
  • A Victorian Organ Album - most of the contents are fairly familiar such as the Lemare Andantino, Hollins Trumpet Minuet etc. The Cuthbert Harris piece is rather fun!
  • A Festive Album - containing the famous Jackson Fanfare. 
  • Easy Organ Album - the prequel to the one mentioned on the other thread. The pieces in this one are probably easier than those from the second volume.
  • An Album of Postludes - I haven't looked at many of these, but all of a modern idiom - Jackson, Mathias, etc. They look considerably more difficult than items from the other books.
  • Album of Preludes and Interludes - all easy, tuneful stuff for service voluntaries, particularly the Tomlinson 'Berceuse'.
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There's the "Book of simple organ voluntaries" (though I can't find my copy at the moment) - I like the Murrill "Postlude on a Ground".

In "An Album of Preludes and Interludes" I like Paul Maleingreau's Chorale Prelude (on ??) and, of course, Peter Hurford's "Meditation" from the Laudate Dominum Suite.

There's the "Chorale preludes on English Tunes" with's Leighton's lovely  prelude on Rockingham.

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4 hours ago, timothyguntrip said:

A Festive Album - containing the famous Jackson Fanfare. 

It was the Sidney Campbell piece... is it called Gaudeamus?... in this volume that I heard in that Songs of Praise broadcast all those years ago. Also in that album, I have heard the Douglas Guest piece on St Fulbert played as a voluntary somewhere, and I have played the Armstrong Gibbs piece a few times - neither is great music in my estimation. In the Album of Postludes I keep meaning to revisit a very jolly trumpet piece in A major, but content myself with the Mathias Postlude for now. The last page and a half or so of this is quite exciting. No-one has yet mentioned the navy blue Funeral/Memorial album. The CH Trevor arrangement of God's time is best is my 'go to' arrangement of this movement. In the old 'Simple Voluntaries' album mentioned above, which is not in the same series, there is also the Harold Darke Elegy which works well. 

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