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Last year I heard Roger Fisher perform Lemare’s Organ Symphony in Glasgow; it was deeply impressive. Fisher, with a dual background as both organist and pianist, is surely one of the last English organists whose playing is still meaning- fully rooted in the pre-Reform Movement English late-romantic school. At a time when mainstream playing styles among younger players from different parts of the world seem to be becoming more standardised, Fisher’s playing reminds us of the more insular English tradition (in an entirely positive sense) found on the EMI ‘Great Cathedral Organs’ LPs (just re-released on CD). There is a strong sense, both here as on those seminal recordings, of interpretations growing from the nature of the organ itself rather than perform- ances rooted in the player’s modern idealism being superimposed on the organ. On this disc, some highly characteristic solo colours aside, I am less thrilled about the Hull City Hall Compton organ than Fisher is. Nevertheless, his Dupré Variations sur un nöel and Widor Fifth Symphony, while far from Gallic, are models of restraint.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing