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Israeli organist Yuval Rabin’s disc features the highly attractive and colourful-sounding Mathis reconstruction of an organ built in 1813 by Johann Anton Braun. Clearly still inhabiting a late-baroque soundworld, the instrument, with its brilliant choruses and variety of 8ft and 4ft colour, sits very happily with the repertoire, which includes the second and fourth sonatas and the three op.37 preludes and fugues. Rabin’s playing is idiosyncratic, his consistently exaggerated agogics quickly becoming mannered. There are also some slightly questionable textual anomalies, of which the most jarring is the alto D natural on the third beat of bar 65 in the D major Andante with variations (surely the D sharp on beat one is carried over?). On the other hand, Rabin’s own Hommage à Mendelssohn, a set of variations on the Jewish song ‘Yedid Nefesh’ and clearly echoing the variations from Mendelssohn’s own sixth sonata, is well crafted and memorable.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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