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Shropshire church organ in new feature-length documentary

By Lucy Todman | Ludlow | South Shropshire entertainment | Published:

A Shropshire church organ appears in a new feature-length documentary which traces the history and development of the instrument and its music from around 1550 to the present.

The organ at St Laurence's Church

The renowned organ at St Laurence’s Church in Ludlow features in the film by by Fugue State Films.

The English Organ, directed by Will Fraser, is presented by Daniel Moult, international performer and Director of Organ Studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

It charts the history of the organ, its design and cultural significance. Filmed across 40 locations in three continents, the box set also features musical performances on each of the 33 organs featured.

Will said: “What I found fascinating about this project was how it exists on two levels, the musical story that you would expect, plus also this new and quirky view of English history.

"Taken together, I think this film will speak to anyone who is interested in either music or history, or of course both.”

The range and quality of the instruments is evident in the films, from the smallest example of Victorian mass production, via bespoke instruments for churches, cathedrals, concert halls and educational establishments to the biggest organ in the world at its time at Sydney Town Hall.

Will and Daniel filmed a piece of repertoire and a demonstration of each of the 33 organs and spoke to historians, organ builders and restorers, priests, professors, choirmasters and musicians. They discovered that the organ and its music give a startlingly vivid portrait of the English quest for, and retreat from, identity.

The English Organ is available for Christmas pre order now at https://fuguestatefilms.co.uk

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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