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Alexander Ffinch puts Cheltenham College Chapel’s organ through its paces in fine style in this first recording since the 1897 Norman & Beard instrument was given a major overhaul by Harrison & Harrison in 2017. Its symphonic heft is vividly felt in the variegated, muscular poetry of Jongen’s Sonata eroïca, its broad colour palette and dynamic range lit up by Liszt’s Fantasia & Fugue on the Chorale ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’. Ffinch traverses its constant transformations of tone and temperament with the agility of an Olympic slalom skier, finding zen-like stillness in the translucent textures of its middle movement and thunderous directness in its stirring finale. There’s vital advocacy, too, for Jonathan Dove’s rhythmically buoyant, delightfully animated The Dancing Pipes in its first recording.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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