Bach’s – Toccata and Fugue in D minor

Organists from cathedrals across the UK are part of a 54 strong orchestra that have come together in lockdown to create a virtual performance of Bach’s most famous organ work, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, to raise funds for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund.

Q: What is the collective noun for a group of organists
A: Watch live online premiere of Bach’s most famous organ work and decide for yourself.

Organists come together in lockdown for Bach’s most famous organ work

The performance will go live on Thursday, 26 November at 6.30pm on www.cathedralmusictrust.org.uk.

Introduced by Clare Balding, it will see 54 of the country’s leading organists play instruments from cathedrals, college chapels and major churches including some of the UK’s most famous organs including St Paul’s Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral, and the largest pipe organ in the country, Liverpool Cathedral.

Each organist has recorded a small section of the work which has been edited together into a single performance and it is believed to be the first time this has ever been attempted.

Nicholas Freestone, Assistant Director of Music of Worcester Cathedral and the project’s producer said:

“This has been an extraordinarily exciting venture which has brought together many outstanding musicians to play Bach’s most famous organ work. As well as admiring the great musical and technical feat of this performance, I hope listeners will contribute to the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund so that our professional choirs can continue to deliver the world-class singing for which they are renowned.”

The Fund is a partnership between the Cathedral Music Trust, Ouseley Church Music Trust and the Choir Schools’ Association which was created to support choirs silenced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund is now well over 90% of its way to reaching its £1 million target, thanks to donations from thousands of supporters.

Chairman of the Cathedral Music Trust, Peter Allwood, commented:

“The UK’s 500-year-strong choral music tradition is unique and unsurpassed in the world today and transforms lives, both for the musician and for the listener. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund and are extremely grateful to all of those who have donated to help us maintain this precious music tradition. However, renewed lockdown restrictions have imposed additional financial pressures on an already precarious situation. I would like to thank the musicians who have generously volunteered their time in such a worthy cause.”

The piece features organists from 34 of our Church of England Cathedrals, Cathedral Isle of Man, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and St David’s Cathedral from the Church in Wales.

Further details about the Cathedral Choirs Emergency Fund can be found here.