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Assorted solo works, a duo with trumpet, and three accompanied motets are bookended by exciting improvisations. Escaich plays the 4-manual instrument (the product of rebuilds and revisions by Clicquot, Cavaillé-Coll, Gonzales and others) at Duruflé’s church, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, where he has been titulaire since 1997. There are no sleeve notes about the organ, but plenty from Escaich explaining his music. His minimalistic choral writing and controlled tonality are expressive, though Ensemble Soli-Tutti lacks cohesion at times. In all the Esquisses (Sketches) themselves there is a sense of improvisation, and it is that continual invention and sudden drama that makes them successful.

MATTHEW POWER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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