Wednesdays at 5.55 - Organ Recitals at the Royal Festival Hall
|Composer||W Harry Hoyle|
For many who thrill to the sound of the pipe organ, a cherished memory is the series of Wednesday evening organ recitals held at London’s Royal Festival Hall between 1954 and 1989.
Although much has been written about the Festival Hall organ itself, the history of the ‘Wednesdays at 5.55’ recitals was undocumented until Harry Hoyle took on the task as a labour of love.
Drawing on the Southbank Centre archive, private paper collections and the memories of many performers, in this comprehensive and engaging book he tells the story of how the series was planned, which organists performed, the repertoire they played and how the recitals were received by the press and by the public. He also reviews the social changes that led to the ending of ‘Wednesdays at 5.55’ and the search for the best way to present the highlights of the organ repertoire on this unique instrument.
Dr W Harry Hoyle was brought up enveloped by sounds from the family harmonium. This sparked his passion for organ music and led to a lifetime seeking out organ recitals. As a student he attended over 50 performances in the Wednesdays at 5.55 series. His career in market research took him to many countries in Europe and North America enabling him to hear an enormous variety of instruments and performers.
In retirement he has been an active student of the Royal College of Organists Academy.