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There is a pleasing sense of tradition inherent in this recording: Ampleforth College organist William Dore is the son of Philip Dore, who recorded this organ (built during his tenure as college organist) for Michael Smyth’s Vista label during the 1970s. Dore junior’s programme is an enterprising one, including all twelve of Jeanne Demessieux’s Chorale Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes op.8 and a suite from Tournemire’s L’orgue mystique. In a programme of French music based on Gregorian chant, Philip Moore’s Sketches on the Advent hymn ‘Helmsley’ (‘Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending’) are out of place, despite the local connection. Dore plays with a fine sense of empathy for this highly challenging repertoire, the effervescent tension which characterises much of Tournemire’s rhapsodic Fantasie-Choral-Sequence (which concludes the Suite) especially well handled. The swirling acoustics of the Abbey partially compensate for the rather ‘make-do’ nature of the organ: heroic amounts of borrowing and extension, a cramped site and persist- ent tuning niggles threaten to take their toll.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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