SALISBURY Cathedral has released an album to mark the return to service of Father Willis organ and the 800th anniversary of the cathedral itself.

Organ Prom is the second album to be released on the cathedral’s own label and features tracks that were meant to be heard at its 2020 Organ Prom this summer, which had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings.

Recorded by the assistant director of music, John Challenger, the album was made away from the public gaze, in the quiet hours after the Cathedral had closed - a stark contrast to the previous Summer Prom back in August 2018, when nearly a thousand concert goers gathered to hear music before the organs 14-month-long repair and restoration work got underway.

John said: “The Cathedral’s great Father Willis organ, known and loved by listeners around the world, played its way through the vicissitudes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It took this pandemic to silence it completely - and to put pay, sadly, to our plans for a year-long festival to celebrate its return to service.

“I hope this album reminds us that, despite the loss, trials and uncertainty that currently surround us, at some point we will be able to share memorable musical experiences again, and I hope listeners will take comfort in these well-known works and the sound of this marvellous organ, restored for future generations to enjoy.”

The programme features classics such as Widor’s Toccata and Elgar’s Nimrod, along with works by Bach, Handel, Rachmaninoff, Wagner, and others.

Organ Prom costs £12.50 and can be pre-ordered online at