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Vincent Persichetti (1915-87) was a key figure in American 20th-century music as both composer and teacher. Despite holding church organist positions from the age of 15, most of the organ compositions stem from the 1970s and 80s. Persichetti referred to his own style as combining ‘graceful’ and ‘gritty’ and, curiously, this recording opens with his rather turbulent final work, the chorale prelude Give peace, O God. Similarly gritty are the 12-tone Parable VI and Do not go gentle, a 12-minute exposition for pedals. Tom Winpenny delivers these complex works with grit too, although there seems to be little room for much expression even in the more ‘graceful’ and enchanting Auden Variations or the Dryden Liturgical Suite.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica


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