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The famous 1912 Arthur Harrison organ at St Mary Redcliffe in Bristol has been completely restored by its original builders. A very fortunate survivor of the period when such instruments were ‘out of fashion’, this is perhaps now the most important example of what Stephen Bicknell termed the English ‘Imperial’ organ. Like great organs of all periods, this richly colourful masterpiece speaks with a telling lack of self-consciousness. As the church’s director of music, Andrew Kirk knows the instrument well. However, on this occasion some curious programming (K608 and Finlandia at the beginning and lots of, mostly loud, shorter bonbons thereafter) combined with some rather square playing hold the CD back from really taking off. It would be great if Regent could revisit Redcliffe to record a disc of the kind of large-scale late-romantic music which could sound so well here (Karg-Elert, the Whitlock of the Fantasie-Chorals, Willan, Bossi et al).

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing