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The organ building style of Friedrich Ladegast has found current popularity in Scandinavia as evidenced, among others, by recent organs from the workshops of Porthan and Virtanen in Finland. Eule’s new organ in Oslo follows suit and subtly extends the concept with some harmonic flutes and reeds in a swell box, taking Wilhelm Sauer as their model but extending the instrument into the French soundworld nonetheless. The instrument displays a remarkably strong concept, featuring slotted principal choruses, a pair of free reeds at 16ftand 8ft, inter-manual balances which describe a diminuendo from I to III (the third manual being enclosed in the church tower) and even console design and detailing obviously reminiscent of Ladegast. Halgeir Schiager, the organ’s titulaire and progenitor, uses the theme and variations genre to show it off in a variety of unusual mid 19th-century German works. If the repertoire is of variable quality and the bombast of three national anthems (in arrangements by Hesse, de Lange and Köhler) outstay their welcome, this excellent organ is demonstrated optimally and Schiager’s playing is fine indeed. The attractive presentation includes detailed registrations for all tracks, especially absorbing in the context.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing