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