Organist Anna Lapwood plays monumental ‘How to Train your Dragon’ on a mighty Baroque instrument

10 July 2023, 20:25

How to Train your Dragon... on the ORGAN! | Anna Lapwood

By Kyle Macdonald

A star organist plays her arrangement of a much-loved fantasy score, on an instrument to rival the mightiest dragon.

This is one of the best-loved animated movie scores of recent years, in an inspired arrangement for pipe organ.

How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 animated fantasy film, taking place within Viking lore. It explores an unexpected friendship and the power of connection across divides, with a rich and evocative score by John Powell.

In this video, Anna Lapwood might not be taming a dragon, but rather a mighty pipe organ.

Her arrangement of Powell’s fantastical theme draws on all the colours and power of the organ, using figurations and roaring sounds to bring it to life. It is played on the mighty organ of St John’s Smith Square, just a stone’s throw from parliament in London’s Westminster. Watch above.

The famous instrument is known as ‘Sainsbury’ Klais organ. The organ dates from 1734, originally from Great Yarmouth and transferred to its new London home in 1972. It’s a mammoth instrument – if organs could breath fire, it probably would. Anna gives a tour below...

Read more: How does the organ work, and what are the different parts? Anna Lapwood explains

How does a pipe organ actually work? | Anna Lapwood | Classic FM

Read more: Organist Anna Lapwood plays epic ‘Star Wars’ in fireworks-filled finale at Royal Albert Hall

This organ is famed for its versatility, able to perform repertoire from German Baroque to French symphonic – and you can now add 21st-century film fantasy scores to that list.

Lapwood is passionate about sharing the magic of the organ. You can follow her on all socials, as well as the #PlayLikeAGirl hashtag she champions. Her message is that this instrument has a bright future, and is both amazing and fun to play.

So, learning the organ is very much encouraged – and training can take place either before, or after that of your dragon.