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‘Dieu parmi nous’ has regularly brought to a close the King’s College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols since the 1960s, and here lies the logic behind Messiaen’s La Nativité forming the first organ recording on King’s College’s own label. The piece which has now become a Christmas classic sounds suitably magisterial in the hands of former organ scholar Richard Gowers, with the familiar King’s acoustics wrapping around the exotic sounds of the Christmas narrative. While the newly restored instrument sounds more vibrant than before, I find Gowers’s rendition a little sterile in places, lacking the poetic nature of many other recordings available.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica


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