Magazine article The American Organist

Sounds of St. Giles: The Mander East Organ of St. Giles Cripplegate

Magazine article The American Organist

Sounds of St. Giles: The Mander East Organ of St. Giles Cripplegate

Article excerpt

SOUNDS OF ST. GILES: THE MANDER EAST ORGAN OF ST. GILES CRIPPLEGATE. Thomas Trotter, organist. II/17 Mander organ, 2008. Regent Records REGCD302. Regentrecords.com. The church of St. Giles without Cripplegate has a rich history. Its unusual name refers to the old Saxon word "cruplegate," meaning a covered path or tunnel running from the city gate to a fortified watch tower, or Barbican. The church was located outside ("without") the city wall. Currently, it is a parish church, serving both the city and a local congregation. In addition, it is home to the St. Giles International Organ School, with 14 teachers instructing some 300 students annually. The three-manual gallery organ, built by Mander, serves as the main instrument. Two other instruments have been installed to supplement and complement this instrument. Mander's modest two-manual organ recorded here is located at the east end of the north aisle. It boasts a remarkably bold, bright, clean, and coherent voicing, enhanced by a sensitive suspended mechanical action. In addition, it has unusual features designed to aid physically challenged players, particularly the visually impaired. These include numerous pistons with sequencer, modified stopknobs that identify the type of stop (principal, flute, etc.) and "speaking stops facility," which provides an aural identification of any stop or piston engaged.

City of Birmingham-based organist Thomas Trotter is rightly regarded as one of the most brilliant concert organists currently on the world stage. Having played the dedicatory recital of the East Organ in April 2008, he chose a program of music from the Renaissance to the 20th century for this recording that seems tailor made for this organ, demonstrating its remarkable range of color and musical flexibility. His arrangement of Handel's Organ Concerto No. 16 in F includes three of the original six movements: Overture, Andante, and March. …

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