Dr. Walter Hay Sangster (1835-1899), Mus.B. (Oxon, 1870), Mus.D. (Oxon, 1877), F.R.C.O.
He studied at the City of London School, and was a chorister in the Temple Church, London. He was a pupil of Edward J. Hopkins and William Rea before studying in Berlin in 1855.
He held a number of church appointments: Christ Church, Ealing, London; the English Ambassadors Chapel, Berlin, Germany; St. Michael’s, Chester Square, London, England; All Saints’, St. John’s Wood, London; St. James’, Weybridge; St. Michael’s, Star Street, Paddington, London; St. Saviour’s, Eastbourne. In addition he conducted the Eastbourne Musical Society, and was a composer of anthems, songs, organ and piano music.
Largely forgotten today, I suppose his greatest claim to fame is that Healey Willan (1880-1968) was a chorister under at him at St. Saviour's, Eastbourne, as well as studying with him privately.
The dramatic "Introduction and Toccata in G Minor" dates from 1898, one year before Sangster's death.
The opening "Introduction" is marked "Maestoso" and is quite reminiscent of a grave, French Overture prelude.
The "Toccata" is a toccata of the Mendelssohnian style. Again, movements from the "Sonatas" come to mind, especially the first and fourth sonatas, and is quite equal to them in terms of technical requirements.
The passagework is busy and complex, building continuously before reaching a pedal point, which is interrupted to a return of the opening material, as found in the introduction.
A final cadenza brings the piece to a grandiose conclusion which fortunately remains in the minor! :-)
This piece is well worth taking a look at, especially if you are interested in some obscure Anglo-German organ works.
THANKS to Dr. John Henderson for the score of this rare item, which is attached below.
Also attached is a photo Dr. Walter Hay Sangster, and photos of some of the churches at which he served as organist.