SOUNDS INSPIRATIONAL: ORGAN MUSIC FOR PENTECOST
Greg Morris at the organ of Blackburn Cathedral
LAMMAS LAMM 159D
On 20 December 1969 the new Walker organ in Blackburn Cathedral was opened by Bishop Claxton, followed by the opening recital given by Dr Francis Jackson, the advisor for the project, and it was then considered a loud organ in a prolonged acoustic. Following the recent 2002 rebuild by Wood of Huddersfield the acoustic remains the same but the added ranks make it even louder!
Since his appointment as Assistant Director of Music, Greg Morris has perfected his control of this, one of the finest organs in the country, and I have to congratulate him - a born musician - on his ability to ensure clarity in this difficult acoustic.
The theme of his recital is Organ Music for Pentecost - no fireworks here - and his choice of programme with works by Bach, Rtti, Tunder, de Grigny, Messiaen and Durufl, and in the two latter works he shows off the undoubtedly French aspects of this organ. Distant, but perhaps inevitable, since the original organ in Blackburn Parish Church, now the Cathedral, was built by Cavaill-Coll, with much of his pipework melted down for use in the Walker organ!
It is indeed difficult for the recording engineers to find the ideal placing for their microphones as the organ is divided on two sides of the building and the sound emerges in four different directions. Congratulations to them, and to Greg Morris for his profound understanding of the situation.
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