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Kevin Bowyer (Glasgow University Organist) is the obvious impetus behind the choice of that institution’s Memorial Chapel organ for this recording. The III/49 Willis (1927) / Harrison (2005) instrument undoubtedly has character and colour (despite only two mutation stops), but to my ears a less than beautiful sound. The unforgiving room makes persuasive communication of Messiaen a tall order, which Bowyer’s artistry achieves in a compelling encounter in one of the least expected places. For a way to focus on the excellence of the performance and the notes themselves, without a monolithic French instrument taking centre-stage, this is a disc worth hearing.

MATTHEW POWER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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