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The 1873 Thomas Hill organ at Arundel Cathedral had its origins in a smaller organ built by his father for St John’s, Islington. Tonally well preserved, it was restored in 2006, although regrettably an appropriate key action was not reinstated (the original organ had a Barker lever). This is a very fine sounding organ in a magnificent space. Hill’s choruses are of a special quality (the quinty roar almost Ladegast-like), the reeds equally splendid, especially the wondrously good pedal trombone. Remarkably, this is the instrument’s first solo recording and Daniel Moult plays with his usual virtuosity and panache. The highlight for me is his insightful and wholly apt rendition of W.T. Best’s grand transcription of a Handel organ concerto – a brilliant piece of historically informed performance practice in which the organ revels. Stanford’s Fantasia and Toccata also fit the instrument like a glove, but I was less enthusiastic about the modern works by Derek Bourgeois and Paul Patterson, both of which outstay their welcome.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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