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Well, this is quirky. The Italian organist Paolo Bottini adapts a number of early piano compositions of Ferruccio Busoni and performs them with astonishing imagination and no little virtuosity. The music pre-dates Busoni’s later expansion of his musical vocabulary (with the partial exception of the densely modulating Contrapunctisches Tanzstück), drawing on a romantic tonal language with earlier inspirations: a Prelude & Fugue, four charming Danze antiche and, among the wonderful miniatures of the 24 Preludes op.37, pieces in the style of a Gigue and a Chorale. The organ is hardly distinguished (and the reeds often comically out of tune), but Bottini has sought out myriad colours which contribute to a hugely enjoyable listening experience. Although Bottini makes no claims to having produced fully fledged transcriptions but simply ‘adaptations of the original score’, if he were to publish his efforts he would add some valuable and very attractive music to the organ repertoire.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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