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This CD documents the inauguration of the new Eule organ in the concert hall of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany. In a highly innovative move, Eule modelled their new instrument on two Edwardian British examples: the 1913 Norman & Beard organ in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and the 1923 Arthur Harrison organ of the Caird Hall in Dundee. The style has been evoked in considerable detail – on which other modern concert hall organ would you find a Dulciana mixture and a Cornet de Violes with not a Cornet decomposée or even a Cromorne in sight? On the basis of this recording, Eule have succeeded in applying a highly relevant historic model to a modern situation; this is an organ with real guts and myriad solo colours inhabiting a thoroughly late-romantic soundworld, and in matching it with a modern concert hall I suspect it may set a significant precedent. The playing of both organists is tremendous; Apkalna’s Jongen Sonata Eroïca is dazzling and the Guilmant Symphony no.1 (performed with the Duisburg Philharmonic) driven and business-like. Thomas Trotter revisits some of his standard repertoire; comparing the typically virtuosic Lemare transcription of Wagner’s Rienzi overture with Trotter’s recording from the opening of the Birmingham Klais organ is illustrative indeed.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing