We got one of the best organists in the world to play on one of the biggest organs ever made – improvising on themes suggested by you

31 October 2016, 11:41

Wayne Marshall on the Royal Albert Hall organ

Wayne Marshall is one of today’s very best organists – so we thought we’d set him a challenge. Here's what happened when we asked him to play an improvisation on pieces suggested *by you*

Here’s the Royal Festival Hall organ

Royal Festival Hall Organ

It has 7,866 pipes – the longest of which is 32 feet. The whole organ is over 60 feet (or 18 metres) wide and each of the four manuals (that's keyboards to you and me) have 61 notes.

And here’s Wayne Marshall, one of the world’s top organists

Wayne Marshall on the Royal Albert Hall organ

We asked you to get in touch with themes for him to improvise on. Here are some of your suggestions:

Wayne Marshall improvisation themes

And here’s what he actually played.

First, he kicked off with the theme from Mission Impossible, turning it into a majestic organ symphony

Wayne Marshall improvises on the Mission Impossible theme

An epic improvisation…


Then he wove in John Williams’ Harry Potter theme

The music for Harry Potter – on organ

Wayne Marshall improvises on John Williams' famous theme


Then: Phantom of the Opera meets Verdi’s Requiem

On paper this sounds insane: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music from Phantom of the Opera with the Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requiem as a counter-theme.

And insane it actually was…

Phantom of the Opera meets Verdi's Requiem

Wayne Marshall creates an epic improvisation


Rachmaninov’s Vocalise also made an appearance

Rachmaninov's Vocalise – as part of Wayne Marshall's improvisation

Played on the Royal Festival Hall organ


Here’s the whole epic 20 minutes improvisation.

Sit back, relax and let the awesomeness transport you…

Wayne Marshall's COMPLETE epic improvisation

On the enormous Royal Festival Hall organ


And if you want to hear the Royal Festival Hall's organ in action, there are plenty of opportunities in their International Organ Series.

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