The Organ & Organist
At Clifton we have one of the finest neoclassical organs in Europe made in Austria by Rieger. Its design reflects the hexagons upon which the Cathedral is based. Stephen Bryant (the Cathedral Organist) is a great ambassador for the instrument and skilfully adapts all kinds of repertoire to it. The organ voluntaries reflect the intentions of the particular liturgy, integrating with the musical styles used within that too.
You can download the Organ Specification (with more pictures) here in Acrobat format - please contact us if you would like the full resolution printed version.
The organ was cleaned and restored by David Wood of Huddersfield in 2010.
There is also an Allen electronic organ in the gallery used for occasions such as can be heard here.
Stephen Bryant is Organist and Junior Choir Director at Clifton Cathedral as well as teaching at Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Primary School within the Cathedral’s parish. He was educated in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and whilst in the sixth-form he was Organ Scholar at Newcastle Cathedral. He moved to Manchester University to read music, during which time he studied the organ with Gordon Stewart, directed several choirs and orchestras as well as being Organ Scholar at Blackburn Cathedral. After graduating he completed a PGCE course before initially teaching in Liverpool. In 1999 he moved to Bristol and has since taught in several schools within the city and its locality.
Stephen Bryant has been Organist of Clifton Cathedral since September 2000, a post he combines with his full-time teaching post. He has undertaken various recordings, broadcasts and tours, both as soloist and with the Cathedral Choir, including broadcasting live on BBC1 and BBC Radio 4. He is in demand as an organist and has performed throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and America. Stephen is an experienced choral and orchestral conductor and in 2017 founded the Clifton Cathedral Junior Choir which attracts choristers from across the diocese.
Sunday 1 November All Saints
Organ Prelude: Prelude in C minor (BWV 549) - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Communion: Fugue in C minor (BWV 549) - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
This piece was likely written during Bach’s time in Weimar.
The prelude opens with a pedal solo followed by the upper thee voices entering in an imitative style. The fugue starts as a four part fugue in which there are only ever three parts sounding at a given time. Once we reach the pedal entry, the contrapuntal style is exchanged for a more free and improvisatory section to conclude the work.