Project Canterbury

The Cathedral Organ, with Alec Wyton at the Organ

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City

Digitized by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2019


Alec Wyton has been organist and master of the choristers at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and headmaster of the Choir School, since 1954. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in England and at Exeter College, Oxford. Mr. Wyton served as organist of St. Matthew's Church, Northampton, England - then was appointed to Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis immediately preceding his appointment to St. John's Cathedral in New York. He is a member of the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York and of the National Executive and Examination Committees of the American Guild of Organists. Recognized as one of the most talented artists in his field, Alec Wyton demonstrates his wonderful ability as an organist by the inspiring performance exhibited in these recordings.


The first organ in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine was built in 1910 by E. M. Skinner. It contained a total of 88 ranks, 5650 pipes. Between 1952 and 1954, the organ was completely rebuilt ad redesigned by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company under the supervision of the late G. Donald Harrison and the instrument now has 141 ranks and 8,035 pipes. Of particular interest is the State Trumpet which is placed horizontally under the Rose Window at the west end of the Cathedral and speaks on a pressure of 50".


The numbers contained in this album are representative of the beauty and majesty of truly great organ music. Done in the incomparable style of Alec Wyton, they bring inspiration, peace of mind and a deep, spiritual satisfaction to the listener.


1. Fanfare (Wyton)
2. In Praise of Merbecke (Wyton)

(Kyrie Eleison - Choir - Organ)
(Benedictus Qui Venit - Choir - Organ)
(Agnus Dei - Choir - Organ)
(Sanctus - Choir - Organ)


3. Le Banquet Celeste (The Celestial Banquet) (Messiaen)
4. Prelude and Fugue in B Minor (Bach)

Project Canterbury