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Harry Goss-Custard

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- Liverpool Cathedral, 1927 & 1947

As with his younger brother, Reginald Goss-Custard, the biographical material concerning Harry Goss-Custard is very scarce. The only thing I could gather is that he was the first cathedral organist appointed to the vast Liverpool Cathedral, still under construction at that point. 


He was a prolific recording artist recording no fewer than 134 organ rolls for the Welte Mignon company in Freiburg. They are certainly of great importance, since they portray Harry Goss-Custard as an outstanding and sophisticated virtuoso, but his small recorded legacy from Liverpool Cathedral is of great importance because it documents the famous and highly influential organ in Liverpool Cathedral.

The organ in the cathedral by Henry Willis was completed in 1926, so the recordings from 1927 and onwards with Harry Goss-Custard are the first sounding sources documenting the instrument.

His few gramophone recordings do not paint the full picture of Harry Goss-Custard. Fortunately together with his brother they recorded around 150 organ roll for the Welte-Philharmonie-Orgel in Freiburg in Germany - It sometimes gets a little murky which of the two brothers actually recorded which organ roll.

Some of these recordings were realised and recorded on the Britannic Organ situated in the The Museum of Music Automatons in Seewen in Schwitzerland, and I highly recommend listening to these recordings - they can be found on "The Britannic Organ"-series published by the record  label Oehms Classics.

A note on the recordings:

Compared to the relatively dry acoustics of HMV’s usual recording venues in Kingsway Hall and Queens Hall in London, it was a significant challenge to capture the organ in Liverpool Cathedral.

The result is - these challenges taken into perspective - rather good, even though the sound at times gets quite muffled.

These technical imperfections though are outweighed by the sheer fact that it is possible to hear the organ in 1927.

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