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Volume 8 in Editions Hortus’s fascinating series exploring Musicians and the Great War is, despite its title, perhaps the most poignant of the ten discs issued thus far. Lives cut short by the hostilities are remembered in André Devaere’s haunting Les bourdons de Notre-Dame de Courtrai and Georges Kriéger’s finely articulated Toccata. Those who survived the front line are here too, represented by Hindemith’s delightfully variegated Two Pieces for Organ. Boulanger, Stanford and the American Harvey B. Gaul (the moving Chant for Dead Heroes) provide consoling succour and support, while Widor’s stirring Salvum fac populum tuum and Dupré’s solemn Poème héroïque offer brass-enhanced tributes of marked intensity. The result is a deeply affecting recital played with due sensitivity and gravitas by Philippe Brandeis on a wholly sympathetic III/64 organ.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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