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On a multi-faceted 2013 Sandri organ, Massimo Gabba makes a strong case for the unduly neglected August Gottfried Ritter (1811-85), arguably the father of the modern German organ school. This two-disc set isn’t quite as complete as it claims – a number of minor pedagogical and liturgical compositions are missing – but it fills a crucial gap in the catalogue. The four Sonatas (the third dedicated to Liszt) readily betray debts to Bach and Mendelssohn while boasting a trenchant romantic sensibility accented by vigorous imagination and dramatic gestures. The C minor Fugue is a captivating double fugue, the Fugue in B ‘after Handel’ deftly balances delicacy and robustness, and the joyful chorale Auf, auf, mein Herz brims over with youthful vim and verve. Persuasive performances and well-framed recorded sound.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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