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This CD on the Trinity College Metzler presents an attractive programme of works by Bach and others drawn from the so-called Andreas Bach Buch, compiled by Sebastian’s elder brother who passed it to his son Andreas. It is a diverse and international collection, although Douglas Hollick sticks mostly to the well-known figures represented. His Weckmann Magnificat has an agreeable sense of weighty presence, while his Pachelbel D minor Ciacona engages the excellent flutes in a performance of charming intimacy. Unfortunately, Hollick’s considerable efforts are sold short not only by the poor presentation of the disc (and especially the dreadful photo of the organ), but also by some shoddy editing (for example, track 6 at 9:47 and track 11 at 8:20). This seems to contribute to a general sense of unsteadiness in both the Bach Passacaglia and the Buxtehude ‘Gelobet seist Du’ Fantasia. And while I’m glad that Hollick has the courage to treat the Bach Passacaglia as, essentially, a plenum piece, it seems odd, given the context, not to adopt the textual divergences in the Andreas Bach Buch source.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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