Anne Page

Handel Tour | Adlington Hall | Hillington | Bevington/Great Wenham | Hingham | Scores

Audio and scores

Anne Page's recordings for the Historic Organ Sound Archive can be found at the following addresses located at
Adlington Hall, Badwell Ash, Barton, Boxworth, Cambridge (All Saints), Cawston, Colton, Great Bardfield, Great Wenham, Haslingfield, Hilborough, Hillington, Hingham, Ingrave, Little Bardfield, Norwich (St George Colegate and St Helen's Bishopgate), Pakenham, Sculthorpe, Thaxted, Thornage, Thurrock, Woodbridge (Quay Chapel), Wymondham. A selection are provided below.

The HOSA sound recordings are the copyright of the British Institute of Organ Studies.

The 'Handel Tour'

A brief guide to the history of the English organ, wherein the organ, through its successive developments from one of the keyboard family to imitator of the symphony orchestra, acts as an indicator of changing taste and style. Handel's music retained enormous popularity from age to age, and this makes it useful as a 'control' to see how successive generations treated its arrangement. Full details of the organs, registrations
and music will be found on the HOSA site at

Adlington Hall (Cheshire)

Anonymous builder, ?1693. This organ was almost certainly played by the composer himself. Though history does not relate what he might have played, or extemporised, for his host Charles Legh while visiting the Hall in 1741, he did set to music a short Hunting Song written by the latter. In common with much keyboard music from this era, these two fugues have no specified tone colour and could be played on any member of the keyboard instrument family - organ, harpsichord, clavichord, etc - according to taste or circumstance.

Fugue in F major -
Fugue in D minor -

Hillington (Norfolk)

Snetzler, 1756. This organ, built towards the end of the composer's lifetime, is heard in a genre invented by Handel as entr'acte music for his oratorios. The concerto form is well served by two contrasted bodies of sound: one to represent the orchestra (the Great), and one for the organ soloist (the Choir). The long compass is occasionally used to underline the bass, pedals being still very rare at this time.
Organ Concerto Op.4 no.1, arranged for one player and published by Walsh (1738) -

The low notes of the long compass are frequently required here to double the bass line in octaves, with full band and chorus rendered by four hands using full organ on the Great. The Choir manual is used for a piano dynamic contrast. The arrangement of music from Handel's oratorios, particularly Messiah, became one of the staples of the organist's diet, as the next examples show.
'The Grand Hallelujah in the Messiah' arranged for two players by John Marsh (1783) -

Bevington, 1857 and Great Wenham (Suffolk)

T.C. Lewis, c.1860s. During the 1840s pedalboards modelled on those found on German instruments began to make their appearance and the old long compass of the English organ was shortened to begin at C. These pieces require, in addition to a full pedalboard, two or more manuals for contrast - the Swell, with its capacity for crescendo/diminuendo, has supplanted the Choir as second in importance to the Great, and a coupler between Swell and Great is provided. In 'He was despised' (Hilborough) arranged by E.J. Hopkins the organist takes the roles of both orchestra and singer using similar registration on different manuals. 'For unto us a Child is born' (Great Wenham) arranged by Henry Smart requires more resources, using
crescendi and changes of registration to effect dynamic contrasts from mezzopiano to fortissimo.
'He was despised'-
'For unto us a Child is born' -

Hingham (Norfolk)

Forster & Andrews, 1877.This is a far remove from the concerto arrangement published by Walsh in which two manuals were sufficient to portray the musical argument: it is an evocation of the late Romantic orchestra with a continually shifting blend of colours and exaggerated dynamic contrasts - here even the part for solo keyboard aspires to the symphonic ideal. The organ is now equipped with not only pedals but also a large
Swell division, strings and reed stops which imitate orchestral instruments, and registration aids in order to achieve the effect of the 'one-man' orchestra.
Adagio from Concerto Op.7 no.4, arranged by Alphonse Mailly (1908)

Scores available to download from the Historic Organ Sound Archive


                         Music Location of recording                           Link
Josef Haydn (1732-1809) arr. J.C. Nightingale (1790-1833)
The Heavens are telling
Haslingfield, Cambs click here
L. van Beethoven (1770-1827) arr. E.J. Hopkins (1818-1901)
Adagio Movement from Op.13
Hilborough, Norfolk click here
G.F. Handel (1685-1759) arr. F.C. Nightingale (1790-1833)
He Trusted in God (Messiah)
Hilborough, Norfolk click here
G.F. Handel (1685-1759) arr. E.J. Hopkins (1818-1901)
He was despised (Messiah)
Hilborough, Norfolk click here
W.A. Mozart (1756-1891) arr. E.J. Hopkins (1818-1901)
Motet 'Deus tibi laus et honor'
Hilborough, Norfolk click here
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
arr. John Charles Nightingale (1790-1833)
Mass Voluntary no.3
Pakenham, Suffolk click here