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Italian organist Matteo Venturini presents a committed and convincing disc of rarely heard organ works of Johann Gottfried Müthel (1728- 88). Müthel’s claim to fame as the last of J.S. Bach’s pupils (he started his studies just three months before the Master’s death) is perhaps less important in terms of stylistic indebtedness than his contact with Carl Philipp Emanuel, with whom he had a lifelong friendship. There is a zany quality to Müthel’s brand of classicism, evident not least in his 14-minute Fugenfantasie and the virtuosic extended pedal solo which comprises the Unbezeichnetes Stück in C major. The Fantasies are somewhat reminiscent in their grace and drama of the Praeludiae by another late Bach pupil, Johann Kittel. This is music of slightly variable quality which receives excellent performances on a trio of fine sounding modern Italian organs all heavily influenced by the works of Arp Schnitger.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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