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Original Recording 1979 (Vista Records, Michael Smythe Engineer) Re-released with permission. Copyright Andrew Parker. The Mander organ in Sheffield Cathedral, 1966-1998. At the forefront of British organ builders is the world-renowned N P Mander Ltd of London.
Noel Mander, the firms founder, installed his first Cathedral organ in Sheffield Cathedral in 1966. The instrument was substantially completed to the agreed specification, but for its planned Nave Division, following almost ten years of discussion and vacillation. The final scheme was drawn up in November 1964 by Dr Francis Jackson, Master of the Music at York Minster, forward looking for its day, with features which were more common on continental instruments than could be found on English Cathedral organs of the time.
The separate Nave division, playable on the Great or on the Positive manual, was added in 1969. This proved to be a superbly effective addition, with its excellent voicing by Ian Bell. The action throughout was electric; the pipework was voiced generally on low wind-pressure but for a somewhat anachronistic high-pressure Tuba rank. The organ made a considerable impression right from the opening recital on 30 April 1966, both at home and abroad. A large and enthusiastic body of people attended the opening recital by Dr Jackson.
In following years recitals were presented not only by renowned British Cathedral organists but by leading international players as well, including Daniel Chorzempa, Anton Heiller, Piet Kee, Jos van der Kooy, Jean Langlais and Gillian Weir amongst many others. Within a couple of years of its installation very high praise was accorded Noel Manders craftsmanship in an article by Cecil Clutton on Sheffield Cathedral organ published in The Organ (Vol XLVII, 1967-1968, pp151-155). That an organ should in significant aspects be described as perfect by a responsible writer is a rarely achieved accolade.
Cecil Clutton did not hesitate to risk such an encomium; he contrasted the really superb Great chorus with the perfect Petit Plein Jeu of the Positive: In passages of Dorian Toccata type the contrast and balance is perfect, while coupled to the Great, the addition is very real, to produce a principle chorus of unforgettable beauty, able to take its place beside almost any masterpiece of the past (p152).
Graham Matthews, Organist and Master of the Music at Sheffield from 1967 to 1991, was previously Sub-organist at Winchester Cathedral from 1958, where he was Acting Cathedral Organist from August to December 1962. Born in London, he is a graduate of London University, having been awarded a County Major Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music as a registered Undergraduate of London University in 1954. He gained the LRAM diploma in piano teaching as a schoolboy.
At the Academy he studied piano and organ, singing and choral conducting, clarinet and composition, becoming runner-up in the Academys major organ prize, and was a prizewinner at the Royal College of Organists in choir-training. On achievement of the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists he was offered a Sub-Professorship at the Academy.
Subsequently, in 1979, he was awarded the honorary diploma ARAM. Musical activities over the years included Lecturing; Examining to Diploma level world-wide for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of music; Adjudicating; Teaching in schools and Universities; Conducting; Choir-training; giving and presenting Recitals with broadcasts and recordings; and Reviewing CDs and music of all periods.
Since 2004 Graham Matthews has lived in Londons Charterhouse as a Brother. In 2005 he was appointed Organist of Charterhouse; in 2007 he was elected a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Musicians.
|2||07:43||Magnificat primi toni BuxWV203||Buxtehude|
|3||02:10||Chorale-Prelude: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BuxWV211||Buxtehude|
|4||07:20||Prelude and Fugue in G minor BuxWV149||Buxtehude|
|6||04:03||Diversion for Mixtures||Jackson|
|7||02:48||Fugue in C BuxWV174||Buxtehude|
|8||03:59||Toccata-Prelude: Wachet auf||Jackson|
|9||04:25||Toccata in B minor||Jackson|
|10||05:17||Prelude, Fugue andChaconne BuxWV137||Buxtehude|