ORGAN OF THE MONTH 89: November 2009

Blackburn Cathedral
(Walker 1969; David Wood 1994, 2002)

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Your webmaster recently visited Blackburn and was impressed by the sound of the magnificent Walker/Wood organ - and also by the stylish playing of the lunchtime recitalist, Peter Yardley-Jones, Assistant at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow.

St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn, formerly a parish church dating from 1826, was re-consecrated as a cathedral in 1926.  The building has previously housed organs by Gray and later by Cavaillé-Coll, but the present instrument originates from 1969, the work of J W Walker & Sons. It includes a doubly-mitred Serpent 32ft in the Pedal Organ.

The enlargement from three- to four-manuals took place in 2002, and involved many tonal changes and additions, including the provision of two new digital ranks (by Walker Technical Company, USA) for the Pedal Organ.  Whatever your opinion of hybrid organs, the overall effect of the instrument in the cathedral's generous acoustic is simply stunning: do go and hear it if you can!


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Last modified: October 29, 2009