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We seem to be experiencing a healthy and entirely appropriate resurgence of interest in Britain’s late 19th- and early 20th-century organ literature. Spearheaded by Daniel Cook’s wonderful recordings for Priory of Alcock, Stanford and Sumsion, other British players seem to have discovered the motivation to seek out the music composed for the sort of organs over which they most often preside. This release is no exception; while searching for music to record on the elegant Father Willis/Harrison organ at Edinburgh’s Episcopal Cathedral, organist Duncan Ferguson discovered the music of the prolific Liverpudlian William Faulkes, whose compositions found popularity on both sides of the Atlantic and were championed by both Best and Lemare. Much as I wanted to, I found it hard to get excited by any of the offerings here, though all bar one are recorded for the first time. The Concert Overture in E flat is indicative: dedicated to Hollins, it is some 40 per cent longer than any of the latter’s examples but with none of the melodic skill or swagger. The remaining repertoire likewise too often proves more ‘square’ than captivating. A real shame this, because Ferguson’s playing and Delphian’s presentation provide Faulkes’s music with as fine a podium as anyone could wish for.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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