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Here’s a treat for armchair travellers: a whistle-stop tour through eight improvised European national anthems by Pierre Pincemaille on an impressive IV/72 Stahlhuth/Jann. Mediated by choices of appropriate form and framed by two contrasted extemporisations on Europe’s own anthem, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, Germany is treated to a set of four robust and poetic variations, the UK to an engagingly delicate minuetto, Italy to a combustible scherzo, Spain an ornately decorated march and Poland, naturally enough, to a contemplative ballade. Bach provides the five-part ricercare template for Luxemburg’s Lutheran-like anthem, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Austria.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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