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This is an interesting opportunity to hear a recent and much admired large organ by C.B. Fisk (III/44, 2005) put through its paces in a broad programme of largely mainstream repertoire. A thoroughly eclectic instrument with strong French romantic leanings and typically ‘Fiskian’ touches (the progressive and breaking mixtures on the Great alongside a pair of contrasting 8fttrumpet stops, the Servo-pneumatic lever, etc.), it sounds convincingly idiomatic in many different contexts – even, impressively, in Jean-Adam Guilain’s Suite du Second Ton. The fine, spacious recording by Travis Garrison allows a good impression of how the organ sounds in the room with its Kirkegaard-designed acoustics. St Paul’s organist Andrew Scanlon, responsible for a great variety of activity around the instrument, plays with technical security, but even so his interpretations are a mixed bag. At his best in the tension-filled Mors et Resurrectio of Langlais, his Bach BWV 542 is dull, Howells’s Master Tallis disjointed and even the Final from Vierne’s First Symphony rather laboured. Fisk’s interesting organ is the star of the show.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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