organ213 - Birmingham Organists' Association

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organ 213

March 2020

3 manuals
38 speaking stops

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St John the Baptist



Henry Willis, 1894, 1913, 1928
David Wells, 2004

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This "Father" Willis dates from 1894 and was constructed in just 18 days, complete in every respect: for such a large and complex instrument a truly remarkable achievement!  An anonymous donor, now known to be Revd Cyril Stacey, had pledged £2000 for a new organ, equivalent to £¼million today.

Most of the organ is voiced on 3¼ in wg pressure, but with 8 in wg used for the Great & Pedal reeds and also the Swell Contra Hautboy, Cornopean and Clarion.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary during OrganFest 2019, the organ remains essentially unmolested after a sympathetic restoration by David Wells, with its original playing action and unaltered specification, allowing players and listeners to savour the splendours of its late Victorian tonal heritage.

Recitalist Gerard Brooks played msuic by Edouard Commente, Bach, Franck and two movements from Widor's Fifth Symphony, ending with the famous Toccata.

You can hear a more modern Toccata on a Welsh hymn-tune as March 2020's Music of the Month.
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