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Roberto Mucci, in showing offhis beautiful pair of late 18th-century northern Italian instruments (Bossi, 1797 in Burligo, and Serassi, date not given, in Palazzago), sadly misjudges the point at which adapting music to suit the instrument comes at the cost of the music itself. Dandrieu and Vierne (the ‘Arabesque’ from the Pièces en style libre with the RH solo played on the Decima Nona...) suffer badly. Mucci’s playing of the music that should work well – Handel and Frescobaldi especially – is lumpy and old-fashioned, with endless pointless changes of tempo and registration and one-dimensional articulation. The translation of the booklet is as chaotic as a Berlusconi-led budgetary meeting. The second half of the disc comes to life most unexpectedly, however, as Mucci provides spirited and humorous performances of music by Morandi and Padre Davide da Bergamo, music which suits both him and the Serassi organ to a tee. The Campanella in particular gets a good workout, not least in the ‘Campanelli’ Rondo by Morandi. Not in the best taste, but enormous fun.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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