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John Mordler; Gordon Parry (hidden), John Culshaw; Benjamin Britten; Robert Tear; John Shirley-Quirk

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John Mordler; Gordon Parry (hidden), John Culshaw; Benjamin Britten; Robert Tear; John Shirley-Quirk

by Richard Adeney
bromide print, 1967
11 1/2in. x 9 1/2in. (291 mm x 240 mm)
Given by the Britten estate, 1981
Photographs Collection
NPG x15254

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Singers Tear and Shirley-Quirk pictured during a recording at Orford Church with Decca producers Mordler and Culshaw and composer Britten.

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Rex Lawson

15 December 2019, 22:57

There is another person in this photograph, almost completely hidden behind John Mordler, and I recognise him from personal experience, since I worked at Decca Studios for nine months in 1967 (between school and university), and during most of my university holidays, up to 1970. The unnamed individual is Gordon Parry, whose combed-over balding pate is unmistakeable! You can easily find other images of him if you Google “Gordon Parry” Decca, since he was a senior engineer, responsible for many major projects, including Sir George Solti’s Ring. As a young trainee, I met Britten and Pears a couple of times when they came in to listen to trial recordings, and they were even there for my 21st birthday party, in that Decca let me use one of their studios at West Hampstead for the occasion, and Ben and Peter were visiting, so we all broke for tea in the Studio 3 canteen at the same time. Carefully engineered so that my young university friends could get their autographs!


10 January 2018, 05:30

Richard Adeney (1920-2010) was a flautist closely associated with Benjamin Britten.

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