Cumbrian Society of Organists

Review : Playing Day with David Sanger : 31 October 2009

[The CSO was immensely privileged to hold an annual master class with David Sanger, who was our Vice-President for many years.]

Prior to the day six people applied to play but two chickened out before battle commenced. The four players were Jonathan Clegg (from Sedgefield co. Durham), Samuel Carradice, Madge Leeming (organist of the URC Whitehaven) and Chris Wood (co-organist of the Methodist Church Kendal). Fears that there would not be enough playing time to fill the two hours proved to be groundless. David spent ½ hour with each player, so with an interval of ten minutes everyone maintained their interest until they were ready for their tea. This interest was heightened this year by David having time to expand on the background of the eight pieces being played and he was consequently able to involve the audience as well as providing advice to the players. This he did with great enthusiasm, erudition and humour.

The composers represented were Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Bach, Pierre duMage, William Harris and Jean Langlais. The standard of playing was high, Samuel earning David’s special commendation for his improving technique.

Our regular attendees thought this year’s playing day was the best we have had, and eight pieces seems to be an ideal number to have in future years. David told me that choosing good quality music of significant importance to its period adds greatly to the level at which the pieces can be discussed and this was the case at this year’s event.

There were seventeen attendees including twelve CSO members, one student, two non-members and two “taxi drivers” who attend free.

David squeezed in this event on the only October Saturday he had available in between returning from a recital tour in Denmark on Friday evening and leaving early Sunday morning to tutor the organ scholars of Oxford and Cambridge, (probably at a somewhat higher level of expertise!)


Samuel Carradice
Prelude in E flat, William Harris
Chorale Prelude: Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf (BWV 617), J S Bach

Jonathan Clegg
Petite Pièce No.3, Jean Langlais
Fugue in C, J Pachelbel

Madge Leeming
Chaconne in E minor, D Buxtehude
Chorale Prelude: Herr Christ, der ein’ge Gottes Sohn (BWV 601), J S Bach

Chris Wood
Tierce en taille, Pierre duMage
Chorale Prelude: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (BWV 659), J S Bach

Samuel at Embleton Organ

National Pipe Organ Register Links

Old Weslyan Chapel, Embleton