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It is often telling when the resident organist records on their home instrument, and here there is a very winning connection between Salisbury’s ‘Father’ Willis, the music of Elgar and the performer. This has clearly been a labour of love for Challenger, with two fine transcriptions of his own in the mix. As well as clever and imaginative use of colour in the registrations, Challenger plays with the lightness of a pianist, entirely necessary for some of the more flamboyant textures in Elgar’s scores such as the Coronation March of 1911. The Larghetto from Serenade to Strings makes a welcome contrast to the bravura and drama of Elgar’s numerous marches.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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