Cumbrian Society of Organists

Review : Patterdale Recital and Annual Lunch : 18 July 2023

July 18th saw members congregating at Patterdale for a recital, followed by lunch for the Society’s members, organised by Mike Town. Contrasting with the previous couple of years the sun was absent; the weather had returned to normal (overcast with heavy showers!) which, fortunately, had reinstated the tuning of the organ at St Patrick’s Church after the previous month’s hot weather.

The recital was given by Lithuanian organist Vladimir Antonov-Charsky, a competition winner and recipient of several prestigious organ scholarships, currently studying at the Royal College of Music for a Masters degree. Vladimir played a theme-based programme based on the Christian liturgy.

The pieces chosen ranged across the 15th to the 20th centuries and included pieces from the Lutheran and Catholic traditions. A number of the pieces were new to the audience and well worth revisiting, albeit that Conrad Paumann’s 15th Century ‘Redeuntes in mi’ (from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch) may challenge members, particularly those without the benefit of accompaniment of a tolling bell - ably provided by Mike.

Vladimir’s most admirable playing, musicianship and interest in early music were demonstrated by his performance. His choice of registrations was noted as not only unusual but very appropriate throughout, including use of combinations which gave a remarkable impression of French reeds (strongly blown raspberries?) in Nicolas de Grigny’s ‘Point d’Orgue sur les Grands Jeux’.

Following the recital, 15 members and guests attended a most enjoyable and convivial lunch at the Inn On The Lake. The origins of chimichurri sauce and tonka bean panna cotta provided novel topics of conversation for the organ aficionados present; there was some disappointment that the latter was not served in yellow tin-plate dumper trucks!!

Vladimir gave a short talk after the meal. He outlined the evolution of his interests in the organ and early music, starting with the piano at the age of 10 and progressing to the organ as his studies progressed. Following completion of his undergraduate degree in Lithuania he progressed his studies through several scholarships, including 3 months at The Hague in the Academy headed by Ton Koopman. A young man of many talents, during lockdown Vladimir built a Hauptwerk organ to enable him to continue practising in his flat. He assured us that the neighbours enjoy any sound which may carry through to their properties. Vladimir’s on-line lockdown recitals on his 4 manual Midi-console based organ can be seen on YouTube.

In addition to our appreciation of Vladimir’s performance and talk, thanks go to Mike for arranging such an enjoyable event.

National Pipe Organ Register Links

St. Patrick's, Patterdale