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The town of Pori in western Finland is home to one of the more remarkable organs built in the last ten years. Built by the German firm of Paschen (Kiel) and voiced by Kalevi Mäkinen and Helmuth Gripentrog, the Pori organ is a grand and lavish organ in the symphonic style of Cavaillé-Coll: three manuals (two enclosed), 58 stops, four Barker machines Having heard two discs of this organ, housed in a blessedly reverberant room, I must confess my enormous admiration for its glorious radiance – almost ‘toulousienne’ in the magnificent poetry and fire of its reeds. A stun- ning achievement. Kari Vuola’s playing is unfortunately pedestrian and occasionally untidy (an obvious mistake at 5:06 in the Franck First Choral and misreadings in the Cantabile – alto B natural instead of B sharp in bar 37, alto C sharp instead of C double sharp in the second half of bar 39 – are regrettable). For a better recording of this wonderful instrument, choose Hans Fagius’s release on Fuga (Fuga 9358) featuring Widor’s Fifth Symphony and Vierne’s Second.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing