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The famous organ of Alkmaar’s Laurenskerk was originally built by Van Hagerbeer 1639-46, rebuilt by Frans Caspar Schnitger 1723-25, and most recently restored by Flentrop 1982-86. This recording with incumbent organist Pieter van Dijk gives an insight into the majestic scale of the instrument – in particular a splendid final E flat Fugue, at a stately tempo and with no fussy changes of manual, shows offthe pleno of this organ, while the majestic double pedal Aus tiefer Not demonstrates clarity of part-writing. Despite some issues of recording clarity in faster-moving bass figurations (in the E flat Prelude and Christ unser Herr, for instance), this is a fine demonstration of this organ, particularly the foundation stops, which sing beautifully in the trio on Allein Gott. The three Duetti are well characterised and colourful, and the disc is accompanied by excellent notes on music and organ, plus registrations used. A bonus is having the chorales sung, so the preludes are heard in their correct context.

DOUGLAS HOLLICK Read the full review on Agora Classica

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