Imposing organ rendition of Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ will get your heart racing

15 July 2021, 14:15

Imposing organ rendition of Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ will get your heart racing
Imposing organ rendition of Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ will get your heart racing. Picture: scottbrothersduo

By Sian Moore

Wagner’s famous, triumphant sequence from ‘Die Walküre’ is spine-tingling when played on a thunderous organ.

Watch as the opening notes of Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ ring out through Rochdale Town Hall, sending critters scuttling back into the walls with terror.

The composer’s distinct Walkürenritt leitmotif, from his epic Die Walkure – that’s the second opera in his four-part Ring Cycle – sounds even more tremendous from the pipes of this ornate 20th-century organ.

It takes absolute determination and unwavering coordination to pull off such a musical feat, which organist Jonathan Scott does without even breaking a sweat.

Read more: Someone built an organ that shoots out massive flames as you play Bach

The mesmerising instrument in the video was designed by prolific organ builder James Jepson Binns, and installed in Rochdale’s town hall in 1913.

At the organ’s first outing, it played out music by Boccherini, Bach and, rather fittingly, Wagner. Sitting amongst the onlookers were George V and Queen Mary.

This particular performance, more than a century later, has been watched over 150,000 times on YouTube since it was uploaded in June this year.

One user under the clip has summed the whole thing up pretty well for us: “Talk about ‘pulling out all the stops!’”