Thursday 27th June  2019 – Outing to London and St Albans
Visit to organs at the London Oratory and St Alban’s Abbey

This visit is planned to take in two landmark organs of the Twentieth Century:

The London Oratory organ is one of the most important built in London in the post-World War II era.   Possessing 45 stops on 3 manuals and pedals, it was designed by Ralph Downes, Organist of the Oratory 1936-77 who was the most influential British organ designer of that period. The Oratory also possesses two other fine modern instruments, a 2-manual, 16-stop instrument in the Little Oratory by Flentrop of Holland, built in 1975 and restored by the original builders in 2005 and a 3-stop chamber organ by Peter Collins of 1979, restored in 1998, in the sanctuary.

At St Alban’s Abbey, the 1963 Harrison and Harrison organ designed by Peter Hurford and Ralph Downes was revolutionary, being the first cathedral instrument in Britain to be voiced and built on ‘neo-classical’ lines, where the layout of the various sections of the organ is clear, logical and more concise than most traditional English Cathedral organs.

The plan for the day is for members to drive to St Alban’s, then take the train to London in time to arrive at the London Oratory at 1.00 pm.  Thence, return to St Alban’s to attend Evensong at 5.00 pm, after which we are invited to visit the organ loft.  Up to four members, chosen by ballot, will be allowed to play.

Saturday 13th July 2019 – Outing to Oxford
Visit to organs at Oxford Colleges

We shall visit three very different organs in Oxford college chapels:

11:00 am St John’s College:  The three-manual organ was built in 2008 by Bernard Aubertin.  A mechanical instrument with straight pedalboard and no playing aids, it has all the hallmarks of this unique builder – a fusion of classical traditions.

2:00 pm The Queen’s College: The Frobenius organ of 1965 is well-known for the quality of its voicing, the fine effect of its choruses and beautifully responsive action.

4:00 pm  Magdalen College: This organ, built in 1986 by Mander, is being considered for restoration or replacement.  As a product of its time it will make an interesting comparison with the other two instruments.

The plan for the day is for members to make their own way to Oxford by train or car and meet at the Porter’s Lodege at St John’s College at 11:00 am.  There will be plenty opportunities to play.


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