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Making much of a sonorous III/75 Fisk organ, Jack Mitchener engagingly traverses the century from 1840 as romanticism gave way to modernism and France displaced Germany as the centre of the organ world. Beginning with the heavy gravity of Mendelssohn’s First Sonata (moving easily from solemnity to ecstasy) and a brace of canons (the sublime Second and delightfully airy Third) by Schumann, it segues imperceptibly into the opening two sections of Franck’s luminous B minor Chorale. Three pieces by Guy Ropartz vividly bond German muscle with French flair, the finale of Vierne’s First Symphony adding a deliciously Gallic flourish. Alain’s ardently bright Litanies hint at directions still to come. Mitchener provides excellent notes alongside richly characterised playing.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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