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Here’s something for curio seekers. Now all but forgotten, Arthur Bird (1856-1923) was an admired accompanist and a composer of wide-ranging interests. American born, he spent most of his adult life in Germany and became particu- larly associated with the harmonium. This novel recital collects 24 of his works composed for the instrument on which it is performed, a 16-stop, 1916 Mason & Hamlin harmonium owned by the nimble soloist here, Artis Wodehouse. What surprises most is the tonal range Bird elicits from an instrument of limited resources (albeit augmented by a 16ft Clarionet stop and automatic swell). The music, too, is richer and more varied than expected, Wodehouse an eloquent advocate in both her playing and extensive notes.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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