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A selection of recorder pieces by novelist/ composer Anthony Burgess have appeared previously and Naxos has released some of his orchestral music, but this is the world premiere recording of The Bad-Tempered Electronic Keyboard.

Burgess’ 1985 work pays homage not only to Bach, but to Shostakovich, particularly in its more rugged dissonant counterpoint. There’s a hint of Ronald Stevenson in the writing, too, and some might even find passing nods to the severity of Sorabji’s Opus Clavicembalisticum.

A ‘Fantasia on BACH’ is perhaps inevitable; less predictable is a finale entitled ‘Natale 1985’ based on three famous Christmas carols. Stephane Ginsburgh makes the finest case imaginable, his sound superbly captured. Recommended.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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