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Despite a recent glut of Widor symphony recordings, Martin Bambauer’s new release (actually recorded in 2008) has the distinction of featuring the Saint-Sulpice Cavaillé-Coll – the source of so much inspiration to the composer. Disappointingly, the recording is rather muddy in either stereo or surround sound format and the noisy Barker lever somehow more distracting than on other recordings of this instrument. Although there is a charming air of nostalgia to this sound, the reality is that recordings on other Cavaillé-Coll instruments reveal more of the musical textures. The accompanying essay is interesting but lacking information about the editorial choices – with the Scherzo of Symphonie no.2 curiously relegated to a bonus track.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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