Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

July/August 2015 on sale now

Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris


Maggie Hamilton, editor Choir & Organ

Maggie Hamilton - Editor
From the current issue of Choir & Organ


Writing this with summer festival season well under way, it is heartening to note that, despite the slings and arrows of outrageous financial fortune in the arts world, there is still a steady stream of new music being commissioned. Choir & Organ is a great supporter of new music in our features, reviews and news: apart from our own New Music series, this issue we preview a choral work by Thea Musgrave, to be premiered in the City of London Festival. 

But though concert organisers may be willing to programme a premiere, it seems to be rather more difficult to get a deuxième. Perhaps the idea of witnessing a new work of art being born generates a frisson of excitement that helps to attract audiences, whereas a performance of unknown repertoire that has been around for a while is less likely to balance the books. There is a danger that, apart from wallowing in the warm bath of old favourites from previous centuries, we constantly chase after something brand new instead of taking the time to listen to, and savour, unknown works that have been out of the stable for a while. In our second feature about the Three Choirs, we reflect on some of the Festival’s past commissions that are now heard but rarely. Meanwhile, for organists, the works of William Faulkes – Britain’s most prolific Victorian composer – get an airing.

This issue we carry an obituary for Brian Couzens, founder of Chandos Records, whose admirable legacy includes setting on disc the works of lesser-known composers. Chandos’s first-ever release was of Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service – not an obvious winner for bursting on to the global recording scene. Before Brian died, Chandos had released a CD of the choral works of Goffredo Petrassi, an Italian composer an exploration of whose works could bring choirs some good, solid repertoire to get stuck into.

Maybe it’s time to brush the dust off some of those ‘known unknowns’ (pace, Donald Rumsfeld) and explore the musical riches we already have.

*Yes, I know Humphrey Bogart didn’t actually say this in Casablanca

In The Next Issue of Choir & Organ: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE On sale from 25 August


Hans Fagius visits the striking new Marcussen organ in Aalborg’s House of Music, opened in 2014. 

A personal encounter with the great musical polymath as he approaches his 70th birthday. 

As the long-awaited restored Bridge organ is finally heard again, we publish an in-depth feature. 

Choral repertoire from South America’s largest country. 

For three generations, Dutch organ builders Reil have built organs based on historical examples. 

Plus…The latest international news and previews, specialist reviews, Scholarships & Voice Trials supplement, and the second volume in our Choral Directions publication.

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