The Organ

Paul Hale: The Organs of Southwell Minster

Paul Hale: The Organs of Southwell Minster
RJL Smith & Associates.Available from The Minster Shop, Southwell, Notts, NG25 0HD.
ISBN 978-0-9552580-9-1
£7.95 + £2.50 p & p

It is a pleasure to review this latest version of Paul Hale’s comprehensive history of the organs of Southwell Minster, where he has been Organist and Rector Chori since 1989. The book is arranged chronologically, starting with ‘early organs’ from 1548 right through to the present day and the Nicholson chancel organ, the Binns/Wood nave instrument and smaller chamber and song room organs. This is ‘guide book’ writing at its very best, underpinned as it is by thorough scholarly research and an attention to detail that includes, for example, the unsuccessful as well as the successful work done on the Minster organs over the years, and the mixture compositions of past as well as present instruments. Beautifully produced and well illustrated throughout, this is not only a comprehensive history of the organs of one particular church, but also a useful addition to our understanding of the development of the English organ over more than four centuries. Highly recommended.