On the sunny side of the street - Chris Lawton at Derby Cathedral

Try Our New Player
Christopher Lawton
  • About
  • Export
  • Add to
  • Playlists
Me playing the organ at Derby Cathedral on my 32nd birthday - arranged by my fiancee Michelle!

The organ, job number A502, was built in 1939 by the famous John Compton Organ Company Ltd and is one of the few remaining instruments by this firm to retain the Compton patent luminous stop control system. As is typical of Compton organs, the organ is built using the extension principal and the pipework contained in 3 fully enclosed chambers. However, some straight ranks of pipes have been incorporated from previous instruments here - 2 stops (the Lieblich Gedackt 8 and Stopped Flute 4 on the choir manual) from an organ by Elliot which lasted from 1808 to 1879 and 1535 pipes from an instrument by Stringer which was built in 1879 and replaced by the Compton on 1939. Most of these latter pipes are found on the swell manual. Due to the beginning of the second world war in 1939, the organ was installed without any form of casework and it wasnt until 1963 when a case of dummy display pipes was designed by Sebastian Comper and installed. In 1992 the organ was overhauled by Rushworth and Dreaper who had taken over the pipe division of the Compton company in the mid 1960s. New solid-state action was installed and some tonal alterations made. The organ is a wonderful example of a large church instrument built by the John Compton Organ Company Ltd.

For this video I am playing the famous 'On the Sunny side of the street' - not something you would expect to hear played on a cathedral organ!

With the Cathedral being open to visitors and also some maintenance work being carried out background noise was unavoidable. Before the 'experts' jump in, I only had one hour available to play this instrument and had never seen it before so please excuse the rusty playing!

Many thanks to my fiancee Michelle for arranging me the visit to this fantastic Compton organ!