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Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony is a demanding work to interpret on every level. Transferring it to the organ adds a whole new degree of complexity and the final movement, with its complex double fugue, is a challenge for any organist. Bruckner chose to be buried under the organ of St Florian Monastery – the instrument that inspired him as a chorister and later organist. The ‘Bruckner Organ’ might be unrecognisable to him now, following some dubious reconstructions from 1930-50. In fact, the rather diffuse sound of this vast hotchpotch of an instrument does render some textures disjointed and unclear. However, one can really sense how this monumental organ transcription has been a labour of love for Giesen (organist at St Florian for 25 years), and he is to be applauded for overcoming so many technical challenges and delivering a heartfelt tribute to Bruckner’s legacy.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica


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