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How wonderful to celebrate a new organ built on 17th-century principles with split sharps in the bass, appropriate temperament (seven fifths narrowed by one-fifth Pythagorean Comma) at pitch A465 Hz: ideal for keyboard music of Tallis, Byrd, Bull, Gibbons, Blitheman and Tomkins, and for accompanying their choral music. Stephen Farr plays with real empathy in these voluntaries, fantasias, dances, a Magnificat, and settings of In nomine and Gloria tibi Trinitas, with the Gentlemen of Sidney Sussex Choir singing the alternatim plainchant. Worth special mention is the large-scale Offertory by Tomkins, played with marvellous intensity yet admirable English restraint. Highly recommended.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica


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