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Here is a potpourri of height-of-empire pieces, some familiar (Parry’s A flat Elegy, Stanford’s op.101 no.6 Andante con moto), others forgotten, eight of which make first appearances on disc here. Robert James Stove’s judicious playing provides greater nuance than some might allow for repertoire caught between heart-on-sleeve Victorian sentimentality and stiff Edwardian solemnity. Of the first recordings, Alexander Mackenzie’s Burial (op.27 no.3), with its striking Berlioz and Liszt accents, and Sterndale Bennett’s hymn-like Voluntary in E flat are grave and moving, while Alfred Rawlings’s Allegro con spirito frames a dramatic dialogue between the Great and Swell manuals with Schumann-esque lightness of touch. An intriguing programme, if not altogether satisfying.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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