June 9 – A Choir and Orchestra Practice

For Tonight's Performance

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

The first Saturday of our exhibition was very quiet as there were not many visitors. However, there was a performance of a Hertford Choral Society and orchestra in the evening and they spend most of the day rehearsing so we were sweetly serenaded. A stage was erected behind the nave altar for the choir and the orchestra was in front. The singing was very heavy in the same way as the “Messiah” but it made a nice backdrop to the day. Later the choir practised queuing up in the north transept so that would know their order for the evening.

Peter Hurford and Ralph Downes designed the Cathedral organ in 1962 and it was built by Harrison and Harrison of Durham. The organ replaced an excellent organ but it could only lead the music in one-third of the Cathedral. The new organ was built on ‘neo-classical’ lines and the sounds created by the pipes was clearer and more flexible for the music of different types of music. It was capable of playing all the power, fire and rich colour of the eighteenth and nineteenth-century organs of France whilst also being flexible and subtle enough for its daily work of accompanying the traditional English cathedral repertoire. In 2007-9 the organ was comprehensively refurbished by Harrison & Harrison of Durham and new pipes were added to complete the ensemble.