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The organ history of St Chad’s, Shrewsbury, dates back to the building of the church in the 1790s. A 19th-century three-manual Robert and William Gray organ was replaced by a Norman and Beard instrument in 1904 which remains the core of the organ, notwithstanding rebuilds by Nicholson and Harrison’s – the latest in 2011 which inter alia added a high-pressure tuba on the Choir. This and the other reeds get a workout in Stainer’s March in D and Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture in a disc which is a showcase for solid 20th-century English organ sound. Novelties by Richard White and Jeffery Fraser frame Karg-Elert’s typically chromatic ‘The Mirrored Moon’ (no.6 of the Lake Constance Pastels) and Ein feste Burg. These pieces, and the CD’s coda formed by Peter and the Wolf, run the gamut of the organ’s available tone-colours, with E. Power Biggs’s arrangement of Scott Joplin’s Cascades rag and other works receiving careful performances that could do with more pace and rhythmic drive.

GRAEME KAY Read the full review on Agora Classica


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