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As director formerly of the Brussels Opera and currently of the Aix Festival, Bernard Foccroulle is perhaps unique in the combination of high profile arts positions he has fulfilled while maintaining a sphere of activity with the organ at its centre. Alongside his many recordings, largely of early and contemporary repertoire, his compositions for historic instruments have garnered particular attention. The works here are performed by the composer, mostly on the organs for which they were conceived. By far the most telling is Spiegel, written for the 2005 Schnitger Competition in Alkmaar for performance on the 1511 Van Covelens organ. Heard here, as intended by the composer, in alternatim with Arnold Schlick’s versets on Salve Regina, it is little wonder that Foccroulle’s dazzling, succinct post-modern reflections on the legacy of early 16th-century German organ pioneers has received performances from several other players since its composition. For a release concerned in every way with historic organs, it is remarkable that no information about any of them is included in the booklet; in addition to the Van Covelens instrument, other featured organs include Flentrop’s newly reconstructed instrument at St Catherine’s in Hamburg.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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