Organ Prom | Salisbury Cathedral

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Organ Prom

Organ Prom Image Shadric Toop / Ash Mills
John Challenger (organ)
Available (£12.50) here
Track listing
1. Orb and Sceptre March (William Walton tr. John Challenger)
2. Largo from Xerxes (G. F. Handel tr. Edwin Lemare)
3. Toccata and Fugue in D minor (J. S. Bach)
4. Prelude in C sharp minor (Sergei Rachmaninoff tr. Louis Vierne)
5. Andantino (Edwin Lemare)
6. Marche Triomphale (Walter Alcock)
7. Nimrod (Edward Elgar tr. John Challenger)
8. Prelude and Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Richard Wagner tr. Edwin Lemare)
9. Toccata (Charles-Marie Widor)
10. Elegy (George Thalben-Ball)
11. Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 (Edward Elgar tr. Edwin Lemare)
In August 2018 Salisbury Cathedral was packed to the rafters as concert goers came to enjoy their first ever Organ Prom, a final ‘adieu’ before the Cathedral’s famous Father Willis organ was decommissioned for restoration in 2019. Following completion of this restoration, the instrument sounds more glorious than ever. Due to current social distancing measures the 2020 Organ Prom takes the form of an album to hear at home – enjoy an evening of spine-tingling classics from across the continent on one of the finest organs in the United Kingdom.

Of this most recent album, John Challenger said: “Our Cathedral’s great Father Willis organ, known and loved by listeners around the world, stood through the changes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the current pandemic of our own century, we are denied the thrill of live performances of great works in grand spaces, the unforgettable shared musical experiences, the joy of massed crowds. I hope this album might remind us that, despite the loss, trials and uncertainty which currently surround us, it will one day be possible to share memorable musical experiences again, in the glorious and awe-inspiring spaces we know and love. We couldn’t let this summer pass without marking the return of our great organ from restoration, so I hope listeners will be able to find comfort in these well-known works, and the familiar sounds of this marvellous organ, restored for future generations.”

Recorded in Salisbury Cathedral on 6, 7, 8 July 2020

Engineer, Producer and Editor: Andrew Post
Producer: Samuel Bristow
Organ Prom image © Shadric Toop
Photography © Ash Mills