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There have been plenty of new recordings of Franck’s organ music – the double attraction here is the choice of a Merklin instrument and the inclusion of three opera transcriptions. Yoann Tardivel is keen to place the familiar Trois chorals in context. It was not only the Trois chorals that occupied Franck’s final years but also the operas Hulda and Ghiselle (which remained incomplete). Tournemire’s transcriptions of three extracts are the highlight of this disc. In his later years, Frank was a great supporter of fellow Belgian Joseph Merklin, and the innovative use of electro- pneumatic action, even commissioning a new choir organ at Ste Clotilde. Hearing the Trois chorals on the expressive Merklin instrument of Moulins reveals a transparency of part-writing sometimes lost on other instruments.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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