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Oklahoma-based Adam Pajan puts his considerable empathy with the late romantic style to good use in this immaculately played programme of largely Anglo-American repertoire. It comes as no surprise that the multi-award-winning Pajan is a former Yale pupil of Thomas Murray; his feeling for chameleon-like colour is highly advanced. I particularly enjoyed Edward Shippen Barnes’s Seven Sketches, the early 20th-century American atmosphere punctuated by colourful hints of Barnes’s teacher, Louis Vierne. Good, too, to hear a pair of lesser-known works by Bairstow, and Whitlock’s marvellous second Fantasie Choral. The Kegg organ at Canton embraces the music wholeheartedly at the piano and ‘mezzo’ levels, the enclosed orchestral reeds, oily tuba and range of strings being especially effective. In the louder passages it all gets a bit generic; this is, after all, yet another version of the ‘American Classic’ in which the eight(!) celestes and the gorgeous French Horn co-exist with Koppelflute, Scharffand even Sifflute (sic).

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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