The Organ

A Celebration of Organ Music

Roger Fisher plays the organ of Hull City Hall

It has always been a pleasure to hear the wonderful Forster and Andrews (1911) and John Compton (1951) organ later revised by Rushworth and Dreaper (1991) in Hull City Hall - a Town Hall organ of infinite variety, and I looked forward to hearing Roger Fisher's good programme.

When I checked the spine of the case, however, I was appalled to see that it was apparently played by Forger Fisher. It may well be that Roger Fisher just laughs, and looks forward to increased sales in the light of his apparent change of occupation! That the proofreader missed spotting this error is in itself regrettable, but surely somebody in the firm should have spotted it, when there must be stacks of hundreds, all over the building.

Roger Fisher plays a well-chosen Town Hall programme, which should appeal to everyone, starting with the short Archbishop's Fanfare by Francis Jackson on full organ. The Hollins Trumpet Minuet is followed by the interesting but rarely heard Sonata in A by Magnus Black, formerly the organist of Doncaster Parish Church of Edmund Schulze fame. Then a Handel/Best Concerto in B flat, and John Ireland's Sursum Corda brings us to the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue of J.S.Bach.

Years ago I bought a 78rpm shellac disc HMV DB1067 (1928) on which Casals plays this self-same Adagio on the cello, which, because of its perfection, has been unmatched since - until Roger showed that it can be done in a similar vein on the organ. Roger's performance is somewhat slower than that of Casals - probably because Casals in 1928 would have had to record it in less than four minutes. This is one old 78 recording that must be re-issued on CD. Note from the Web Editor: see this review.