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Daniel Gronau was a highly regarded organist in Gdansk (Danzig). After his death, his manuscripts were purchased from his sister, expensively bound and deposited in the archives of the Johanneskirche, where Gronau had served, later to be destroyed in the second world war. Most interesting about these (never before recorded) chorale partitas is their detailed registration instructions, especially rare in the north German school. Also remarkable is his occasional inclusion of pedal solo variations in the context of a chorale partita. The music itself is fairly primitive when compared to the contrapuntal brilliance of the Hamburg organist-composers of previous generations. Nevertheless, Matteo Venturini gives sensitive and focused performances on an attractive sounding Glauco Ghilardi organ (2005), rooted in the north German style. The lack of a tremulant unfortunately renders impossible the registration indication by Gronau for the final variation on Mitten wir in leben sind.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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