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Organ Information Files

Uploaded by: Ubertuba (02/05/15)
Composer: Thalben-Ball, George
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Sir George Thomas Thalben-Ball CBE (18 June 1896 – 18 January 1987) was an organist and composer who, though originally from Australia, spent most of his life in Britain.

Born in Sydney, of Cornish parents who brought him back to the UK when he was four years old, he was known as George Thomas Ball or G.T. Ball until early adulthood ("Thalben" was his mother's maiden name). He studied organ and piano at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, which he entered at the unusually young age of 14. The level of his talent can be gleaned from the fact that he played the solo part in the first performance by an English-trained pianist of Rachmaninoff's famously difficult Piano Concerto No. 3. This event occurred in 1915 at the RCM, when he was aged 19.

After graduating from the RCM, the young man was asked to deputise as organist at London's Temple Church by its then organist, Sir Henry Walford Davies. In 1923, he succeeded Walford Davies as organist and director of the Temple Church choir, a post he held for nearly 60 years. Under his direction, the choir achieved in 1927 international fame with its recording of Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer, featuring Ernest Lough as the treble soloist. This recording was followed by a number of others on the HMV label.

Thalben-Ball composed several anthems and organ works, of which the best known is this, his meditative Elegy for organ, which was played at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. This piece originated in an improvisation which Thalben-Ball played at the end of a live BBC daily religious service during World War II, when the service finished a couple of minutes earlier than expected. So many listeners to the broadcast telephoned the BBC to ask what the composition was, that he decided to write down his improvisation as well as he could remember it.

I hope you enjoy my interpretation of it.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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