Helpful Hints from David Sanger at the Annual CSO Playing Day
13 October 2007
Review by Colin Rae

Ciacona in E minor, BuxWV 160, Diderik Buxtehude
Because all original autographs were lost there may be copying errors, especially copying from tablature. A constant pulse is required. Observe suspensions as emotional markers. Avoid dotted quavers with semiquavers becoming triplets. There is some evidence of changes in registration but these would require a registrant. Large building would require a 16' manual stop to provide the necessary gravitas.

Versetti & Canzona, Domenico Zipoli
Because the first verse consists of long phrases of semiquavers in a rhetorical style some freedom of presentation is available, including insertion of ornaments. The remaining movements are more fugal and could be linked by appropriate tempi relationships. All the semiquavers must be played with clarity.

Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 555, attrib. J S Bach
There was too much détaché which needs careful control of touch to avoid monotony and loss of cantabile (Bach's term). Bach spent weeks with pupils teaching only touch.

Chanty from Plymouth Suite, Percy Whitlock
Pieces like this which are light-hearted, whimsical and charming require complete attention to detail for a successful performance.

Fanfare, John Cook
Pieces like this scored for a large organ can cause problems playing on a modest instrument. Rapid pedalling requires use of toes only. Difficult pedalling required memorising of manual parts.

Preludio con fuga, Samuel Ducommun
Played by John BisphamObserve as far as possible the composer's registration and the 'breath' marks in the score.

Adoration, Jean Langlais
In French romantic music p and ff refer to the box shut or open. Avoid spreading chords.

Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537, J S Bach
David pointed out the need to relax before playing, in particular the shoulders and arms. The remarks about détaché also apply in this work. Choice of tempo is critical and was on the fast side.

Psalm Prelude, Set 1 Number 1, Herbert Howells
Avoid rubato at start to establish tempo, and prepare for climax points.

Criticisms apart, David praised the standard of playing and thanks are due to the players who make the event possible. These were Samuel Carradice, Jean Hill, Christopher Price, John Bispham and Ian Pattinson.


Back to Reviews Page