Cumbrian Society of Organists

Review : CSO Members Recital : 23 October 2021

Our final event for the year took the form of a Composite Recital given by five of our members in the United Reformed Church, Whitehaven in the afternoon of Saturday 23rd October. It is always a pleasure to visit Whitehaven and see the boats in the harbour and the sea beyond, and the URC is a handsome building dating originally from 1695, though much enlarged in 1900. The fine organ was built in 1906 by Harrison and Harrison, in consultation with the eminent recitalist Alfred Hollins. It is typical of its period, in having a wide range of tone colours, but no mixtures or mutation stops, although the sound is both bright and full.

The music performed all dated from the 20th or 21st centuries, and illustrated the wide range of musical styles which have been adopted in that period. At one end of the spectrum, Dr Wadely adopted a very conservative idiom in his Prelude in C (played by David T. Shingler), and the newest piece was Advent, from the Embertides Suite by Hilary Tann (performed by Marjorie Harrison), more impressionistic in style. Significant continental composers were Karg-Elert, and Hindemith’s Third Organ Sonata (given a masterly performance by Adrian Self). Among the British composers there stood out Francis Jackson (aged 104!)’s Prelude on ‘East Acklam’ played sympathetically by David Shingler), Peter Hurford’s Exurgat Deus and Nigel Ogden’s festive England’s Glory.

There was a small but appreciative audience for what was a creditable display of the musical talent of some of our more enthusiastic members, from which can be derived both encouragement and inspiration for the future of our Society and of organ music in general.

National Pipe Organ Register Links

United Reformed Church, Whitehaven