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This is a fine collection of largely unusual transcriptions played on a new symphonic organ, Casavant’s Opus 3875: the four-manual, 102-rank (mechanical) instrument at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. The organ has a really gutsy, symphonic core, obviously designed to take out an orchestra in the sixth round and (if the recorded sound is unmanipulated) located in unusually good acoustics. The winding’s slight ‘give’ adds tellingly to the excitement. The transcribed firsts include Tchaikovsky’s Coronation March, Holst’s Chaconne from his first Suite for Military Band and a dark and complex Praeludium and Chromatic Fugue, originally written for orchestra and transcribed for organ by its composer Emil von Reznicek (yes, he of Donna Diana). Jan Kraybill, organ conservator at the Kauffman Center, plays with considerable verve and a feeling both for colour and for the grand gesture. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do some internet sleuthing to track down the organ’s specification, but this is very enjoyable nonetheless.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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