PHI CD 161: Selections from
EMI Great Cathedral Organ Series Volume Two Recorded 1966-1969
Philip Marshall Lincoln Cathedral:
Hubert Parry: Fantasia & Fugue in G Opus 188. Frank Bridge: Allegretto Grazioso (1914).
Christopher Dearnley St Paul's Cathedral, London:
Frank Bridge: Allegro Marziale. Camille Saint Saëns From Seven Improvisations Opus 150, Improvisation No.4 in A major & Improvisation No. 7 in A minor.
Christopher Robinson Worcester Cathedral: William Mathias: Partita Opus 19.
Flor Peeters: From Ten Chorale Preludes Opus 68 (1948) O Gott, du frommer Gott, No. 2 & Nun ruhen alle Wälder, No. 3.
Melville Cook Hereford Cathedral: Maurice Duruflé: Prelude et Fugue sur le Nom D' Alain, Opus 7.
Wesley: Larghetto in F sharp minor. Joseph Jongen: Sonata Eroica Opus 94.
THE PERFORMERS BY DAVID ROGERS
Philip Marshall was born in Brighouse, Yorkshire, in 1921. His earliest appointments both as teacher and organist were in that county, successively in Keighley, Leeds and Halifax, After graduating B.Mus.(Dunelm) in 1950, he was appointed Organist at St. Botolph's, Boston, Lincolnshire, (the famous Boston "Stump" Church) during which period he obtained the Durham Degree of Doctor of Music, by examination, after study with Dr. Francis Jackson. Dr. Marshall returned to his native Yorkshire in 1957 as Organist and Master of the Choristers of Ripon Cathedral where he remained until his appointment in 1966 to Lincoln Cathedral, which claimed his industry for a further twenty years in great distinction. He is highly regarded not only as a fine Organist and accompanist, but also for his structured Improvisations and as a composer in a wide variety of genre, including a distinctive Piano Concerto. Dr. Marshall is a ready wit and raconteur who since retirement in 1986 lives quietly in Lincolnshire.
Christopher Hugh Dearnley was born in Wolverhampton in 1930, educated at Cranleigh School, Surrey, and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he was organ scholar from 1948-1952. He was appointed Assistant Organist of Salisbury Cathedral in 1954 under Dr. Douglas Guest, whom he succeeded as Organist and Master of the Choristers in 1957. In 1968 Christopher Dearnley succeeded Dr. John Dykes Bower as Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral. He retired from St. Paul's in 1990 and emigrated to Australia where he maintains an active and prominent position in the musical life of that country.
Christopher John Robinson was born in April 1936, educated at St. Michael's College Tenbury, Rugby School and at Christ Church Oxford. He was successively Assistant Organist at both Christ Church and New College Oxford before taking up the position of Music Master at Oundle School where he taught for three years. In 1962 he took up the position of Assistant Organist of Worcester Cathedral for a brief period under Dr. Douglas Guest before his appointment as Organist and Master of the Choristers of the Cathedral in 1963. He remained at Worcester until 1974 when he was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers of St. George's Chapel Windsor.
Alfred Melville Cook was born in 1912 at Gloucester. He was a chorister at the cathedral and subsequently articled to Dr. Herbert Sumsion whose assistant he then became until 1937. In that year he became Organist of Leeds Parish Church but his tenure in 1939, was interrupted by the outbreak of war and service in the Royal Artillery. Remarkably during the war years Melville Cook gained the Durham degree of Doctor of Music. Upon recommencement of duties in Leeds, Dr. Cook founded and conducted many musical societies in Leeds and other West Riding towns in addition to his duties at the Parish Church. In 1956 Dr. Cook moved to Hereford Cathedral as Organist and Master of the Choristers, conducting the Three Choirs' Festivals of 1958, 1961 and 1964. In 1966 Dr. Cook took up the position of Organist of 'All Saints', Winnipeg, Canada, moving one year later to the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. Upon retirement he returned to England and lived in Cheltenham, and died in 1993. Regrettably Dr. Cook made only three recordings in England, all from the L.P. era, which together with his only known (unpublished) organ piece, - a Sortie - give only a hint of the stature of his artistry.
© David Rogers, Doncaster, 2000
This organ was built in 1898 by Father Henry Willis to a specification drawn up by Dr. G. J. Bennett the cathedral organist at the time, and is the last of seventeen Cathedral instruments built by Father Willis. The instrument, as heard on this recording remains tonally unspoilt as the 1960 Harrison rebuild only added new stops to the pedals (Dulciana), and Choir ( Mutations and Mixture ). Only the Choir Lieblich Bourdon was softened slightly and the Pedal 32-foot Contra Posaune - (actually Willis II) was revoiced. This instrument is rightly regarded as a national treasure.
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
This magnificent instrument contains pipework dating back to the first instrument built for the cathedral by Father Smith in 1694/7, and contained within casework carved by Grinling Gibbons. The builders Byfield, Shrider, Gray and Hill, amongst others, all worked on the organ at various times until 1826. In 1872 Father Henry Willis rebuilt the organ after an unsatisfactory repositioning of the instrument and created virtually a new organ. The Gibbons case was divided into two halves and, with the addition of a replica chaire case for the north side, the two halves were mounted in the chancel facing one another and contained Father Willis's new organ. The Dome pedal organ and tubas were added in 1897 and 1900 and the Dome Diapason Chorus in 1949. Further additions were made in 1960, including the Dome 32-foot Pedal Bombarde. Despite the dismantlings both out of structural necessity and of enemy action, this is essentially the organ as heard on this recording.
The organ was built by Robert Hope Jones in 1896 utilising some pipework from the Hill instrument of 1874 which had an unfeasibly short life. By 1925, the organ was again in need of rebuilding and enlargement and this was carried out by Messrs Harrison & Harrison of Durham to a scheme drawn up by Sir Ivor Atkins the then Cathedral Organist. This included much upperwork, mutations, mixturework (including a flat 7th mixture on the Great) and a large leathered Open Diapason. In 1937 a large Diapason was inserted into the Solo organ! In 1967 more stops were added which were mainly of string tone. This is the instrument as heard on this recording (1968) still resplendent with its Pedal Diaphones. A rare sound indeed Information concerning the subsequent chequered history of this instrument makes interesting reading.
This instrument was built by Father Henry Willis in 1892/3 to a specification drawn up by George Robertson Sinclair, the Cathedral Organist, and Father Willis. It incorporates some pipework from the 1686 Harris instrument. The organ is believed to be the first organ in the country to have been fitted with console adjustable pistons of Willis's own patented design. The 1933 rebuild consisted of extensive action work and a new detached console. It is a magnificent instrument of sixty-five speaking stops playable from a superb console sited above the north choir stall, from where the instrument can be heard (and the casework seen) with great clarity.
© David Rogers 2000