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The 12 movements of Andreas Willscher’s Fifth Organ Symphony (composed in 2006 and making its first appearance here on disc) are essentially ruminations, as the work’s subtitle has it, ‘of [St] Francis’s Preaching about Holy Poverty’. Characteristically, its influences range from Gregorian themes, the contrasting of telling silences with sound, not so much accented as underlined, derived from the German-based international Wandelweiser group and serialism. The employment of more tradi- tional forms such as toccatas and fugues help blend such eclecticism into a coherent and occasionally forceful, largely reverential whole. On the IV/85 Marcussen organ (1973) of Rotterdam’s Laurenskerk, Carson Cooman is a nimble, nuanced and eloquent advocate.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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