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News > The House > James Potter's Article in Organists' Review

James Potter's Article in Organists' Review

James Potter, Director of Cathedral Singers, writes for Organist Review
1 Sep 2021
Written by Olivia Tan
The House

James Potter, Director of Cathedral Singers, published an article about former Christ Church Dean Henry Aldrich for the September edition of the periodical Organists' Review. Co-authored with Dr Dean Jobin-Bevans of Lakehead University, Canada, the article focuses on what the organ-books from Henry Aldrich's collection in the Library can tell us about musical performance in the College and Cathedral after the Restoration.

See below for the summary of the article:

Henry Aldrich arrived at Christ Church in 1662 as a King’s Scholar from Westminster School. Only two years earlier, the monarchy had been restored, leaving, Samuel Pepys observed, ‘all the world in a merry mood because of the King’s coming’. Aldrich arrived in Oxford at a propitious moment, and would go on to be instrumental in rebuilding the College’s traditions, including its musical traditions – something he did with extraordinary zeal. The scope of his interests was wide-ranging, including publications on architecture and design, logic and mathematics, heraldry, and musical composition. Aldrich was a driving force in the latter field, and his activities shaped the music programme in the Cathedral at Christ Church during a period of tremendous flux and reform.

Aldrich’s legacy to Christ Church is considerable, and includes numerous pieces relating to the design and construction of the Peckwater Quadrangle. Additionally, the Henry Aldrich Music Manuscript Collection at Christ Church is a unique and significant collection of music source materials. Research on the manuscript collection continues to shed light on many aspects of the Christ Church Cathedral music programme during the 17th century, including the complementary relationship between the choral vocal partbooks and organ-books, the possible dating of individual entries into the manuscripts, the determination of a standard repertoire for services at Christ Church Cathedral in the post-Restoration era, and the legacy of the organists in the Cathedral and the instruments they played.

Please click here to access full article on the Organists' Review website.

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