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Here’s an admirable (if curious) attempt by Jean-Luc Étienne to bring Elgar’s overlooked organ music out of the shadow of his over-exposed orchestral music. Curious, because the decidedly Gallic-sounding IV/78 1912 Stahlhuth-Jann organ, although contemporaneous with Elgar (but recently enlarged in 2002) seems an imperfect fit. While not altogether ‘wrong’, the resulting sound falls short of feeling ‘right’. Étienne’s accounts of the lyrical, large-scale Sonata and refined Vesper Voluntaries can’t be faulted technically and have some interesting interpretative ideas; but the transcriptions (all by lesser peers of Elgar) fall noticeably short of the vigour and interest of the originals.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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