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The organ of Bridlington Priory was originally built by the notoriously cheap and cheerful Belgian builder Charles Anneessens in 1889. Subsequent rebuilds by Hill, Norman & Beard, Compton, Laycock and Bannister and, finally, Nicholson (who provided an entirely new layout, actions and windchests) have left an organ virtually double the size of the original but, on the basis of this recording, of limited tonal merit. This is one of those organs that becomes raucous as it gets loud, and it is extraordinary that in such a dry room the higher-pitched mixtures on Great and Positive were retained – the original organ had no mixtures at all. Paul Derrett’s programme is imaginative and his playing is often virtuosic and enjoyable. Among the many lesser-known pieces he plays is one of real interest, a terse and powerful Requiem J.F.K. by former organist Raymond Sutherland (remember his spellbinding Sibelius Finlandia for Michael Smythe’s Vista label?), who died at the age of just 56. The programme also includes Reger’s Hallelujah Gott zu loben! (rather relentlessly played), Rheinberger’s first organ sonata and the gloriously impressionistic Carillon Orléanais of Henri Nibelle. The booklet’s text is so small as to be almost unreadable.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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