Hail the day that sees him rise - Chris Lawton at St George's Catholic Cathedral, Southwark, London

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Christopher Lawton
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Me playing the organ at St George's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Southwark, London.

St George's Cathedral originally contained an instrument built by Bishop (rebuilt by Henry Willis) but like many places, suffered severe damage during the blitz on London during World War Two and so the present instrument was built by the famous John Compton Organ Company Ltd in 1958.

The organ is built in true Compton format using the extension principal with 19 ranks of pipes installed in 2 enclosed chambers located east of the south transept. However, the patent 32ft polyphonic bass is unenclosed as is a fantastic Tuba! The drawstop console is located behind a screen at the very front of the cathedral below the east window. Each swell box has 2 sets of shutters directing the sound into either the chancel and nave but there are also drawstops to allow these to be controlled seperately. It is said that when originally installed, tonal finishing had to be done during the night due to the noise of trains running nearby! The organ received an overhaul in 2000 and apart from a few tonal changes, remains very much original and is a superb example of a large instrument built by Compton in the post war years.

For my first video im playing the hymn 'Hail the day that sees him rise' to the tune 'Ascension'. There is no mistaking the unenclosed Tuba can be heard doing the 'Alleluia' at the end of each line!

Many thanks to the Cathedral staff for allowing me access to this magnificent Compton organ.

NOTE: this is purely my interest in order to make sure that these fine organs are archived forever and I do not make any monetary profit by this video being on youtube.

For more information on the John Compton Organ Company Ltd and to see me play other Compton organs, please click on the following link for my site dedicated to the John Compton Organ Company Ltd: