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Completed in the final days of the Aeolian Company as Arthur Hudson Marks, E.M. Skinner’s owner, made his takeover move, the Duke Chapel organ was only second in size to the Longwood Gardens instrument in the firm’s œuvre. For much of its life it played second fiddle to other instruments in the vicinity, not least the famous four-manual Flentrop of 1976 on the chapel’s west gallery. But on the basis of this recording, and following its 2008 restoration by Foley-Baker, this is surely an exceptionally fine example of the pre-Donald Harrison American late symphonic style. University organist Christopher Jacobson’s well-chosen programme includes sparkling performances of the Dupré op.7 Preludes and Fugues as well as music from England, Howells sounding particularly apt, and America in the shape of William Bolcom and, by adoption at least, Edwin Lemare. The organ is attractively captured and the booklet contains absorbing notes, including a detailed history of the organ, and good photography. Some occasional dodgy editing aside, this is a fine disc.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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