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Herbert Sumsion’s stewardship of the Three Choirs Festival saw important premieres by the likes of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Finzi and Howells; his success in that role overshadowing his achievements as a composer. This first volume (of two) from Daniel Cook devoted to Sumsion’s organ music looks set to redress the balance. A collection of delicately etched, sensitively played miniatures on Salisbury Cathedral’s wholly conducive Father Willis, it positions Sumsion at the crossroads between the Victorian and Edwardian eras and encroaching modernity. Blending understatement and boldness, the pastoral and the innovative, this is music fully deserving of greater recognition, with Cook an altogether ardent and articulate champion.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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