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This second instalment in Damin Spritzer’s enterprising rehabilitation of the prolific but largely unknown Alsatian-American René Louis Becker comes an attention-sapping three years after the first volume. Happily, it’s been worth the wait. This nine-track compendium boasts eight first recordings, the five-movement First Sonata, Becker’s most substantial and sophisticated work the exception to the rule. Highlights among the new discoveries are the B flat Toccata, Ite, missa est, with its gymnastic use of counterpoint, the effusively lyrical Cantilène and a fiercely dramatic D minor March. Spritzer proves a committed and eloquent advocate on the wholly sympathetic-sounding 1880 Cavaillé-Coll of Orléans Cathedral.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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