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The work of the Rhineland Stumm dynasty remains remarkably little known. This CD high- lights two organs by representatives of the second and third generations of the family: Johann Niclas Stumm’s 1750 organ (II/24) in Trarbach, and the c.1810 organ (I/9) by Friedrich Carl Stumm in Starkenburg. Christian van Blohn performs expressively on these colourful instruments in which the diversity of influences brought about by the Stumms’ proximity to a major trading route is clear to hear (French reeds, southern German strings, etc). The repertoire includes the Bach D major manualiter Toccata BWV 912 and works by Haydn, Brahms and Mendelssohn. The reeds of the larger organ in particular are, surprisingly, all but ignored, with only the Hauptwerk Trompet and the Pedal Posaunen Bas making brief appearances in all their Gallic glory during the Mendelssohn C minor Sonata. And while the booklet is packed with interesting information and photos, most is in German only and the numbering system for the specifications fails entirely to correspond to that used for the registrations. Enjoyable nevertheless.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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