The search ends in your own living room

There are times when it is great to have several thousand albums on hand in a record collection that dominates one wall of my our lounge. Unfortunately, many albums were bought on a whim and subsequently largely forgotten about. Well, you try and remember exactly what you have and haven’t got from that many LPs and singles. So it is inevitable that some things get bought twice, and on rare occasions, even more. So there are two copies of a few things, and three of at least a couple. But then there are random tracks that I have searched for years only to find that for over a decade they have sat in my record collection unnoticed.

Today has yielded one of those records. Let me take the story back a little. At the school I went to they had a great hall with a full working church organ at one end. One of my friends used to play it (he was an exceptional musician) and one of the pieces he played I loved. At the time, because I heard it a lot, I never thought to ask him what it was called. It wouldn’t have made a difference, as back then I never bought records and would have forgotten the name anyway.

Years later I heard it on the radio. I was buying records by this point, but I failed to catch the name. I never heard it again in many years, but I always remembered the tune in my head. I tried to hum it for people, but despite it sounding right to me, I kept getting greeted with the ‘lights on but nobody home’ look.

Back in 1997 I bought a lot of classical LPs from charity shops around Durham whilst at University. One lot of these were most of the first nine of a set called “Your Hundred Best Tunes”. They had a few tracks I wanted on them, and at 35p each it was a cheap way to get them. They’ve sat in my record collection ever since. And that, as they say, was that. Except a couple of days ago it wasn’t. I was listening to Classic FM whilst driving back from Washington (that is, the first and original Washington in case anyone was wondering that I might try to drive across the Atlantic). I managed to write the name this time of the composer and the piece.

Today I had a quick look through my collection for it. I went through all the classical LPs until volume 2 of this set turned it up. Damn it; the piece I have loved for nearly twenty years and wanted to acquire for nearly fifteen was there all the time. It is, for the record, Widor’sToccata from Organ symphony 5, Op 42. And for the record, I was humming it right. Maybe I was just humming it to tone deaf numpties?