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Transferring the meticulous orchestrations of Debussy and Ravel to the organ is no mean feat, but this has been a long-term ambition of Gunnar Idenstam. As a listener you need to lose your aural memory of the originals and start with a clean slate – once tuned in you can really enjoy the ingenuity of Idenstam’s arrangements. The more rhythmic Ravel pieces (three Valses, ‘Lever du jour’ from Daphnis et Chloé, and Boléro) perhaps lend themselves more easily to the organ than Debussy’s La mer. The success of the latter depends a lot on the instrument, and the 1912 Stahlhuth organ (a hybrid of English, French and German ideals) does not disappoint.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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