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Celebrating 50 years of Blackburn Cathedral Organ
In 1969 the British organ builder, JW Walker, built a remarkable new organ for Blackburn Cathedral, utilising some pipework – including some by the distinguished French builder, Cavaillé-Coll – from the previous organ. Walker’s new organ, designed in consultation with the then Director of Music, John Bertalot, was original, bold, and daring – and unprecedented in an Anglican cathedral. They created an instrument that has become world-renowned as one of the most iconic, exciting, and distinguished instruments in the country. In 2001/2 major work was carried out by David Wood of Huddersfield which enlarged the instrument to 4-manuals and made a few small tonal modifications. In 2019 the organ celebrated its 50th anniversary and this is celebrated (slightly belatedly due to Covid postponements!) in this new recording with the current Director of Music, John Robinson. The wide-ranging capabilites of the organ are demonstrated in an eclectic programme of virtuoso British organ music from the last hundred years, including the first recording of John Bertalot’s stunning Variations on the hymn tune, Regent Square, for pedal solo.
John Robinson is the Organist and Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral, where he oversees a thriving Cathedral Choir, and Music Department. He is Director of Blackburn Music Society (the town’s historic Choral Society), and of Blackburn Chamber Choir.
Total Playing time: 68:22
Recorded 2–4 May 2021 in Blackburn Cathedral by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter
Produced and engineered by Gary Cole.
Recording assistant: Pippa Cole
Sample audio extracts
‘A pandemic- delayed 50th anniversary tribute to Blackburn Cathedral’s impressive Walker organ from director of music John Robinson is well worth the wait…taut but athletic aplomb… fevered, thunderous intensity. Excellent sound.’ ★★★★ Choir and Organ September 2022
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