Mirabilis Recordings

Catalogue of recordings by Mirabilis Records

These recordings were produced, and most were recorded, by David Wyld, now owner and MD of Willis Organs:

    Henry Willis & Sons Ltd
    Rotunda Organ Works
    72 St Anne Street
    L3 3DY


I do not have a catalogue; the details given below are taken from the packaging of recordings I have copies of, or from information found on the Internet.

Most recordings were released on the Mirabilis label, with catalogue numbers starting MRCD (or MRCC for compact cassette in some cases).  A number of recordings were on the Stentor label, whose catalogue numbers start with MMSCD.  The publishing company was called Pointhare Ltd.

The Mirabilis label runs in three series of numbers: MRCD 901-906, MRCD 910, and MRCD 961-964, and the Stentor label in the series MMSCD 1-5; they are listed below in probable chronological order.  MMSCD 1-5, and MRCD 910, 961-964 seem to have been commissioned for local sale rather than the general catalogue; I have been unable to find out anything about MMSCD 2, so I have omitted it the list below.

All the recordings* were made using a Soundfield ST250 microphone, the output of which was encoded to two-track stereo/UHJ (like Nimbus recordings) and recorded using an Awai DAT recorder.  Those very few people who can decode UHJ can enjoy full (horizontal) surround sound.  It is also notable, especially considering their date, that three of the disks are over 80 minutes long.

*Except MRCD 963, which consists of recordings from 1930-31, of course.  It is also unclear if MRCD 906 is UHJ; it was apparently recorded by different people on the same dates that David Wyld was recording elsewhere - the case doesn't say UHJ, but the CD itself does.

I currently have copies of:
    MRCD 901, 902, 903, 904 (faulty last track), 905, 906
    MMSCD 1, 3 (ripped copy), 4, 5
    MRCD 910, 961, 964

and I am still searching (but not very hard) for:
    MRCD 962, 963 (but I already have most of this on LP)

One of the disks, MRCD 910, is still listed as available commercially (2018) - the link is given in the entry below.

The production of new recordings ended when David Wyld took over the Willis company, whose demands naturally took precedence over this work.

MRCD 901 (MRCC 0901) Liverpool Encores

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Ian Tracey plays transcriptions on the Willis organ of Liverpool Cathedral

    Tielman Susato - Mohrentanz
    Thomaso Albinoni - Adagio in g
    Antonio Soler - Minuet (from 6th Concerto for 2 organs)
    JS Bach - Bist du bei mir
    JS Bach - Sinfonia (from Cantata 29)
    William Boyce - Gavotte (from 5th Symphony)
    Jeremiah Clarke - Trumpet Voluntary
    FJ Haydn - 3 pieces for musical clocks
    WA Mozart - Fantasia in f
    Gabriel Fauré - Pavane
    Camille Saint-Saëns - Danse macabre
    Henry Wood - Fantasia on British Sea Songs
    Edward Elgar - Pomp & Circumstance March No 1
    CHH Parry - Jerusalem

Recorded 6th-7th February 1990

The packaging doesn't mention UHJ; this is presumably an oversight, as it does mention the Calrec ST250 microphone.

MRCD 902 (MRCC 0902) Edward Cuthbert Bairstow, The Complete Organ Works

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Played on the organ of York Minster by Dr Francis Jackson

    Prelude in C
    Evening Song
    Scherzo in Ab
    Prelude on Vexilla regis
    Toccata-Prelude on Pange lingua
    Three Short Preludes
    Organ Sonata in Eb

Recorded 4th-6th April 1990

Also re-released as Amphion PHI-143 (nla)

MRCD 903 Late Romantic Masterworks

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Played by Andrew Fletcher on the organ of St Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick

    Franz Schmidt - 'Hallelujah' Prelude and Fugue in D
    Flor Peeters - Aria, Op 51
    Flor Peeters - Variations on an Original Theme, Op 58
    Max Reger - Benedictus, Op 59 no 9
    Walter Pach - Introduction and Fugue
    Marcel Dupré - Cortege et Litanie, Op 19 no 2
    Frank Bridge - Adagio in E
    Hendrick Andriessen - Thema met Varieties
    Herbert Howells - Siciliano for a High Ceremony
    Healey Willan - Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue

Most pieces are played using both the West End and Transept organs, except:
West End only: Schmidt, Pach;
Transept only: Bridge.
In surround, the West End organ is at the front.

Recorded 1990

MRCD 904 JS Bach, Das Orgelb├╝chlein

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Richard Marlow plays the Metzler organ of Trinity College, Cambridge
    JS Bach - Das Orgelbüchlein

Recorded 3rd-9th September 1990

This CD is exceptionally long, especially for the date it was produced.  It is therefore no great surprise that on my copy the last track won't play.  Fortunately, I have been able to get the last track off someone else's copy of the disk.

MRCD 905 St Paul's Cathedral, 'The Grand Organ'

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Played by Andrew Lucas

    Bruhns - Prelude & Fugue in e
    Bach - Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731
    Mendelssohn - Sonata 3
    Liszt - Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen
    Brahms - Four chorale preludes:
           O Gott, du frommer Gott
           Est is ein' Ros entsprungen
           Herzlich tut mich verlagen (two settings)
    Reger - Dankpsalm
    Garth Edmundson - Toccata on Von Himmel hoch

Recorded 25th Feb-1st Mar 1991

MRCD 906 The Organ Works of Basil Harwood (volume 1)

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Played by Roger Fisher on the organ of Chester Cathedral

    Sonata No 1 in c#, Op 5
    Sonata No 2 in f#, Op 26
    Interlude, Op 15 no 2
    A Quiet Voluntary for Evensong, Op 70
    Paean, Op 15 no 3
    Dithyramb, Op 7

Recorded 25th Feb-1st Mar 1991 (by David Lane & Peter Cox)

Volume 2 was never recorded; Roger Fisher tells me that musically this was no great loss.

(MRCD 906 was, it says, recorded by different engineers at the same time as David Wyld was recording MRCD 905.  This suggests that this disc is not UHJ-encoded, as David Wyld had that equipment; the term UHJ is not on the cover and appears in just one, but not both, of the places it appears in on the other discs.)

MMSCD 1 The Historic Organ of St Mary the Virgin, Finedon

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Played by Paul Parsons.

    Anon (17th Century) - Voluntary for a Double Organ
    Croft - A [Double] Voluntary
    JS Bach - Pastorale, Aria, Allemande & Gigue
    CPE Bach - Sonata in A (Wq 70, I)
    WA Mozart - Fantasia in f (for mechanical organ)
    S Wesley - Voluntary, Op 6 No 9
    Mendelssohn - Sonata 4 in Bb, Op 65

Recorded 31 May - 2 June 1993

The organ of St Mary's, Finedon is a 1717 Shrider (or Schreider), with original pipework in most of the Great 8' 8' 4' 2 2/3' 2' III,  the Swell 8' 2' II, and the Choir 8' 4' 2'.  There is reason to believe that the organ was originally built by Father Smith for St George's Chapel, Windsor in 1704, both from the pipe markings and from the form of the royal arms on the casework; this would also be consistent with some documentary evidence.

MMSCD 3 The Organ of Great St Mary's University Church, Cambridge

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Played by Jonathan Gregory

    Handel - Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
    Couperin - Dialogue, Messe pour les paroisses
    Bach - Trio Sonata no 5, BWV 529
    Bach - Toccata & Fugue in d, BWV 565
    Sweelinck - 4 variations on "Unter der Linden grüne"
    Tomkins - A Verse
    Clarke - Trumpet Voluntary "The Prince of Denmark's March"
    Vierne - Gargouilles et Chimères, Pièces de fantaisie, Op 55, no 5
    Vierne - Carillon de Westminster, Pièces de fantaisie, Op 54, no 6
    Lefébure-Wély - Sortie in Eb
    Messiaen - Joie et Clarté, Le corps glorieux, no 6
    Widor - Toccata, Symphony no 5, Op 42 no 1, 5

Recorded 8th-9th August 1993

This recording is of the "Parish" organ (Kenneth Jones 1991), not of the "University" organ (Father Smith 1668, William Hill 1870, Hill Norman & Beard 1963, Mander 1995).

The booklet for this recording is in both English and Japanese - reflecting the interest of tourists, perhaps?  Or maybe it was produced for an Anglo-Japanese conference; or as a sales aid for the organ builder in Japan...

MMSCD 4 The Queens' Service

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The Choir of Queens' College, Cambridge
Directed by Ralph Woodward
Andrew Linn - organist

    Sir CV Stanford - The Queens' Service
    Orlando Gibbons -
        The Short Service
        This is the Record of John
    Henry Purcell - Funeral Sentences
    Sir CV Stanford -
        Justorum animae
        Coelos ascendit
        Beati quorum via
    Charles Wood -
        Expectans, expectavi
        Hail, gladdening light
        O Thou the central orb
    William Todd -
        Lighten our darkness
        Christ is the morning star
    Sir CHH Parry - Blest pair of sirens

Recorded 9th-11th January 1994

MMSCD 5 Vox dicentis

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The Choir of Queens' College, Cambridge
Directed by Ralph Woodward
Ian Shaw - organist

    Sir CV Stanford - Evening Service in Eb
    William Todd - Magnificat (1995 - commissioned by Queens' College Choir)
    Ralph Woodward - Preces and Responses
    Gustav Holst - Nunc Dimittis
    EW Naylor - Vox Dicentis
    CH Lloyd - Chant in Gb (Psalm 137)
    Herbert Sumsion - In Exile
    Sir CV Stanford - In Memoria Aeterna
    Sir CHH Parry - I was Glad

Recorded 1995

MRCD 910 Shades of Blue

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(Shades of Blue was formed in 1988 and was based in Ely. Each of its six members had connections with the Choir of Ely Cathedral. The group had a varied repertoire of a cappella items from a wide range of musical genre. The group undertook entertainment and concert work, performed on radio and television and toured abroad frequently.)

    Robert White - Regina coeli
    William Blitheman - In pace
    John Sheppard - Spiritus sanctus
    John Sheppard - In manus tuas
    Jacob Arcadelt - Il bianco e dolce cigno
    Orlando Gibbons - The Silver Swan
    Londonderry Air (trad, arr Peter Knight)
    The Oak and the Ash (trad, arr Gordon Langford)
    The Slow Train (Flanders & Swann, arr Andrew Wicks)
    Chattanooga Choo Choo (Warren & Gordon, arr John Walker)
    Embraceable You (George & Ira Gershwin, arr Philip Walsh)
    Fascinating Rhythm (George & Ira Gershwin, arr John Walker)
    As time goes by (Herman Hupfield, arr John Walker)
    Getting to be a habit (Warren & Dubin, arr John Walker)
    They can't take that away from me (George & Ira Gershwin, arr John Walker)
    Java Jive (Oakland & Drake, arr Andrew Wicks)
    Jeepers Creepers (Warren & Mercer, arr Andrew Wicks)
    Paul Trepte - Upidee (specially commissioned)

This recording is dedicated in the booklet to John Walker, who died during the production.

Recorded 20th-21st October 1995

This disk is listed as available for purchase from Lantern Productions of Ely for £5 (2017).

MRCD 961 "Under the Hammer"

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Saltire Quartet 
(Hector Scott, Elizabeth Jones, Susan Harris, Alison Lawrance)

    Kenneth Dempster - "Under the Hammer"
    Ronald Center - String Quartet no 1
    David Ward - Quintet for Bb clarinet and strings (Clarinet: Shinobu Miki)
    Trad, arr Edward McGuire - "Cruel Mither" (Vocal: Jo Miller)

Recorded 26th-28th June 1995 in The Queens Hall, Edinburgh

Published by Hector Scott
This disk was sold by The Scottish Music Centre, but is no longer available.

MRCD 962 Liverpool Celebration

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Music used at the graduation ceremonies of Liverpool John Moores University
Ian Tracey @ Liverpool Cathedral

    Bliss - Opening fanfare
    Charpentier - Te deum prelude
    Tracey - JMU fanfare
    Gigout - Grand choeur dialogue
    Pescetti - Sonata in c
    Purcell - Trumpet tunes (King Arthur)
    Maria Theresa von Paradise - Siciliene
    Boëllmann - Suite Gothique, Op 25
    Handel - 3 pieces for musical clocks
    Cook - Fanfare
    von Gluck - Dance of the blessed spirits
    Nevin - Will o' the wisp
    Stanley - Trumpet tune in D
    Bliss - Closing fanfare
    Elgar - Pomp and circumstance march no 1
    Mulet - Carillon sortie

MRCD 963 The Organ of Alexandra Palace

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Vintage Recordings (1930-1931)
(This disk is not UHJ encoded, of course!)

    JS Bach - Prelude & Fugue in c, BWV 546 (Marcel Dupré, 10 September 1930)
    C-M Widor - Variations, 5th Symphony, Op 42 no 1 (Marcel Dupré, 7 March 1930)
    C-M Widor - Allegro, 6th Symphony, Op 42 no 2 (Marcel Dupré, 7 March 1930)
    JS Bach - Toccata & Fugue from Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C, BWV 564 (GD Cunningham, 8 September 1930)
    Sir Edward Elgar - 1st Movt, Sonata No 1 in G, Op 28 (GD Cunningham, 8 September 1930)
    JS Bach - Fantasia & Fugue in c, BWV 537 (WG Alcock, 10 June 1930)
    MacDowell, arr Shackley - Sea Pieces, Op 55 no 3 "AD 1620" (R Goss-Custard, 20 Jan 1930)
    C Saint-Saëns, arr Goss-Custard - "Le Cygne" (R Goss-Custard, 7 April 1930)
    S Karg-Elert - Chorale Improvisation "In dulci jubilo", Op 75 (HF Ellingford, 2 July 1930)
    S Karg-Elert - Chorale Improvisation "Wie schon leucht", Op 65 no 44 (HF Ellingford, 2 July 1930)
    J Sibelius, arr Fricker - "Finlandia" (G Thalben-Ball, 30 June 1930)
    R Wagner, arr Lemare - Die Walkure, "Ride of the Valkyries" (G Thalben-Ball, 19 March 1931)
    R Wagner, arr Westbrook - Tannhauser "Grand March" (G Thalben-Ball, 19 March 1931)
    SS Wesley, arr Thalben-Ball - "Holsworthy Church Bells" (G Thalben-Ball, 15 November 1930)

Recordings processed and assembled for this CD in 1995

These recordings originally appeared on various 78rpm disks in the 1930s, and the greater number of them (and one other) were previously released in 1970 on an HMV LP, number HQM 1199.  The master tapes used for the production of this CD were donated to the Alexandra Palace Organ Appeal by Abbey Road Studios/EMI Records (UK) Ltd, and digitally remastered using Sonic Solutions and Cedar. The CD version was produced for the Appeal by Mirabilis Records.

MRCD 964 English Music for the Decade of Evangelism

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Played on the organ of Brentwood Cathedral by Gillian Ward Russell

    John Redford - Precatus est Moyses
    William Byrd - Salvator mundi
    Thomas Tomkins - Gloria tibi trinitas
    Édouard Silas - Fantasia on St Ann's Hymn Tune
    Sir CHH Parry - Chorale Fantasia "Old Hundredth"
    Sir Edward Elgar, arr Oxley - "Go forth upon thy journey, Christian soul"
    John E West - Fantasy on two well-known Christmas carols
    Basil Harwood - "Shepherds at the Manger"
    Percy Whitlock - Seven Sketches, No 7 "Sortie"
    Francis Routh - Two Marian Antiphons: "Regina coeli laetare" & "Salve regina"
    William Lloyd Webber - Benedictus
    Desmond Ratcliffe - Reflection on the Passion Chorale
    Simon Preston - Alleluyas

Recorded 19th-20th December 1995

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