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This CD presents a nice programme, but Maude Gratton’s style of playing doesn’t always reflect her early music pedigree. The opening Prelude BWV 552 is very fast and sharply dotted, allowing little time to breathe, and the final section of the ensuing Fugue is also rather frenetic. Her often very short detached way of playing the pedals (for instance Nun komm BWV 659) gives no sense of line, and causes pipe speech problems and action noise (BWV 769 final variation). This is a pity, as there is lovely playing in a number of works, and BWV 548 is a splendidly dramatic close. The Ponitz Silbermann is well recorded, but with only three pedal stops to two large manual divisions, balance problems result at times. There are perceptive sleeve notes by Peter Williams, who died not long after this recording.

DOUGLAS HOLLICK Read the full review on Agora Classica

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