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The organ in Brompton Oratory was the first in England designed to draw influences from the classical European organ-building traditions, while possessing its own integrity as a unified musical instrument appropriate for solo and liturgical repertories. An impossible task? The measure of Ralph Downes’s success can be well judged by this recording. The repertoire of cantus firmus based music (both Roman Catholic and Lutheran) by Buxtehude, Cornet, Lebègue, Grigny, Demessieux, Duruflé, Litaize, Weitz and Tournemire all come off with musicality and conviction. The Oratory organ has itself become a modern ‘historic’, assisted by fine resonant acoustics. Very successful.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica


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