An organ giant has died

Peter Hurford died today at the age of 88.

Hurford recorded the complete Bach organ works for Decca, along with much else.

He founded the St Albans International Organ Festival and was an engine for renewal in British organ playing. In recent years, he suffered a stroke, followed by Alzheimer’s disease. He retired in 2009.

From Bruce Duffie’s extended interview:

Making music’s fun.  The moment making music ceases to be fun, give it up!  That does happen, you know.  People do stop having fun with it, and this does happen with professionals, sometimes — quite a lot, in my experience.

Read on here.

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  • When I was 10 years old, and CD’s had just gone mainstream, the very first disc I bought was a Hurford compilation ( on Decca.)

    I was stunned!

    And that interest which snowballed into a passion for music in a wider sense, and brought me to a whole wider classical world, will stay with me forever.

    RIP Maestro.

  • Rest in Peace! A wonderful organist and an impeccable interpreter of my first CD of Bach’s organ works.

  • We hosted Peter when he played at St Mary’s Abbey in Morristown NJ many years ago. Delightful guest, wonderful organist.

  • Peter Hurford inspired me tremendously: I recall hearing him play Alain’s ‘Litanies’ at St. Alban’s, and this became one of my ‘party pieces’ throughout my career. Also, his choir’s singing of Howells’ “Gloucester” M&ND made this possibly the most moving of all such settings for me!

    • Coincidentally, the Howells Gloucester was sung at Evensong at St Albans last night. With Faire is the Heaven as the anthem, it made for a very moving service in the circumstances.

  • I was fortunate to be his record producer on all but a couple of discs. He was a wonderful player and musician whose philosophy was making music on the organ, not ‘organ music’ He was a close friend and I shall miss him, but he has enriched us all with his legacy of recordings

  • Wow….
    2019 is shaping up to be a terrible year for the organ community.
    Go in peace, Peter Hurford.

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