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This world premiere recording of complete Merulo, consisting of his Libro primo (1598), Libro secundo (1604) and the Toccate dal fondo Giordano played on two fine contemporaneous organs, deserves recognition by those interested in early Italian keyboard music. Registrations are colourful, but the manner of playing is similar throughout: very slow starts, very articulated and deliberate passagework with every strong beat delayed for effect. ‘Merulo in context’ would be an alternative approach in which toccatas could be juxtaposed with lively capriccios and appropriate vocal music. This CD is rather too deliberate and predictable.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica

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