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Built in 1885, the Walcker organ at Annaberg is a fine instrument, aurally reminiscent of its larger and more famous sibling in Riga. Following its restoration by Eule in 2005, Matthias Süß demonstrates it in music from France (Guilmant and Franck) and Germany (Rheinberger and Reger). I take issue with the assertion in the programme notes that Walcker’s organ type represents a fusion of German and French aesthetics: Cavaillé-Coll’s influence on Walcker is surely overplayed here; the reverse was much more important. Not surprisingly, the German music is completely convincing and the French music isn’t; free reeds, however pretty, don’t cut the mustard in Guilmant and the First Sonata receives a pretty stolid reading. The Reger Fantasia on ‘Ein feste Burg’ outstays its welcome, but shows off the organ’s considerable quality optimally.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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