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Composed in early 2017, the ink can barely have dried on Andreas Willscher’s latest symphonies before these recordings were made in the accommodating acoustics of St Bartholomew, Leeds. Carson Cooman follows his nimble account of Willscher’s Fifth Symphony with the 19th (Hallelujahs) and 20th (Laetare) Symphonies, the former setting five Biblical texts with contrasting deftness, the latter a low-key and contemplative blend of Gregorian chant melodies and a sacred folk tune. Despite the shared themes of rejoicing, the accent is largely – and intriguingly – on the understated, Cooman’s advocacy never less than committed and eloquent. The earlier (1974) Die Seligpreisungen (‘The Beatitudes’) boasts a sparkling toccata clearly relished by Cooman.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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