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Loïc Mallié recently became titulaire of La Trinité in Paris. As well as succeeding Messiaen in a literal sense, there is a feeling of real kinship between his playing and the music of his illustrious teacher. Mallié’s previous CDs on the consistently fabulous Editions Hortus label included improvisations on themes of Debussy and the exceptional Retour de Bayreuth, weaving Wagner leitmotifs into his own spontaneous creations, marking him out as possibly today’s most original voice in French organ improvisation. The present CD features Mallié as both improviser and composer, with the beautifully crafted Affettuoso for organ and flute, and the tough 25-minute Quasi una sequencia. The musical language here is less accessible than on previous discs but, in the improvisations in particular, Mallié’s extraordinary feeling for form, contrast and especially colour prompts meaningful comparison with Messiaen.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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