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This twelfth volume in Tactus’s survey of Bossi’s organ works focuses on his editions and transcriptions of earlier, mostly Italian, music. Bossi’s interest in old music increased markedly during the last 20 years of his life, following the earlier inclusion of a set of such pieces as part of his Metodo di studio per l’organo moderno. The manner of transcription is less interventionist than a Straube equivalent but makes use of varied and highly characteristic devices nonetheless: for example, the crescendo at the end of the Frescobaldi ‘Toccata per l’elevazione’ from the Messa degli Apostoli, or the grand treatment (and added introduction) of the Fugue by Porpora. Included too are transcriptions of works with other instruments: Bach’s O Mensch bewein chorale prelude with violin, and a Handel violin sonata with a realised accompaniment by Bossi. The organ at Thiene was originally built by Callido and performed upon by Bossi following its rebuild by Pugina in 1893. Its most recent restoration and enlargement, with a new mechanical action by Zanin, leaves it sounding somewhat in no-man’s land; probably a more apposite organ could have been chosen. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating glimpse into Italian performance practices of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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