54 Cathedral Organists to give virtual performance of famous work
25 November 2020
The Cathedral Music Trust, a voice for UK cathedral music, today announced that it has brought together 54 of the country’s leading organists, playing instruments from cathedrals, college chapels and major churches, to create a virtual performance of Bach’s iconic Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
The video performance, to be introduced by Clare Balding, aims to raise money for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund. It will go live on Thursday, 26 November at 6.30pm on www.cathedralmusictrust.org.uk.
Believed to be the first time this has ever been attempted, each organist has recorded a small section of the work which has been edited together into a single performance. The recording includes some of the UK’s most famous organs including St Paul’s Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral, and the largest pipe organ in the country, Liverpool Cathedral.
Nicholas Freestone, Assistant Director of Music of Worcester Cathedral and the project’s producer said: “This has been an extraordinarily exciting venture which has brought together many outstanding musicians to play Bach’s most famous organ work. As well as admiring the great musical and technical feat of this performance, I hope listeners will contribute to the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund so that our professional choirs can continue to deliver the world-class singing for which they are renowned.”
The Fund is a partnership between the Cathedral Music Trust, Ouseley Church Music Trust and the Choir Schools’ Association which was created to support choirs silenced during the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund is now well over 90% of its way to reaching its £1 million target, thanks to donations from thousands of supporters.
Chairman of the Cathedral Music Trust, Peter Allwood, commented: “The UK’s 500-year-strong choral music tradition is unique and unsurpassed in the world today and transforms lives, both for the musician and for the listener. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund and are extremely grateful to all of those who have donated to help us maintain this precious music tradition. However, renewed lockdown restrictions have imposed additional financial pressures on an already precarious situation. I would like to thank the musicians who have generously volunteered their time in such a worthy cause.”
Further details about the Cathedral Choirs Emergency Fund can be found here:
In order of playing, the 54 organs are:
St Paul’s Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Isle of Man Cathedral
Temple Church, London
Magdalen College, Oxford
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
St Davids Cathedral
St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow
St Mary’s Church, Warwick
Hampton Court Palace
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
St Albans Cathedral
St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh
St George’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Southwark
St Edmundsbury Cathedral
St John the Divine, New York