Friday 29th November
We visited my parent's grave here in the beautiful Arboretum Cemetery in Bingham a couple of days ago — two years since Dad died — and as we stood there, a lovely little robin came and perched on the memorial stone. He watched and waited — beautifully still — whilst I took a couple of photos, then flew away. My mother would have been so delighted!
Wednesday 20th November
This evening I was part of a capacity audience at Westminster Cathedral for an extraordinary event. Seven Viscount digital organs had been installed, to augment the cathedral's two famous pipe organs, all in aid of the UK premiere of the late Jean Guillou's 'La Rêvolte des Orgues', which formed the last thirty minutes of the evening, and featured leading players from all over Europe. The nine instruments were put to good use in the first hour of the programme in music by Bach and Vivaldi, the percussionist necessary for the Guillou also playing the side drum in Pierre Cochereau's 'Boléro sur un thème de Charles Racquet'. Frankly, words fail me in attempting to do the event justice, but I would not have missed it - even if I never wish to hear the Guillou again.
Monday 11th November
Today was spent at Radley College, near Oxford, a famously musical independent school which has recently signed a contract with Nicholson & Co for a new three-manual organ. The need has arisen because the chapel is about to be extended and the current organ will not be loud enough nor is in the best position in chapel to lead the singing. Today they took final measurements for the new case, standing proudly in the west gallery, the large Pedal section going in the existing organ chamber. The photograph shows work beginning on the chapel, which will gain a beautiful new East end.