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GRAMOPHONE (06/2022)
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Reviewer :
Marc Rochester

Unlike his earlier ‘JS Bach from Lincoln’ album (Priory, 11/18), Colin Walsh has avoided any of the big headline-grabbing works and chosen for this one music of highly dubious authenticity (notably the C minor Trio) and an offbeat selection of little-known chorale preludes (including both settings of Dies sind die heil’gen zehn Gebot from the Clavierübung III). There is nothing to suggest that this is part of an extended survey. On top of that, neither player nor organ – fabulous as they both are – is particularly associated with cuttingedge Bach interpretations. This is, then, a straightforward organ recital which just happens to feature music ascribed, rightly or wrongly, to JS Bach.

The Lincoln Willis is a lovely-sounding instrument, warm, comfortable and generous in its tonal range, and is nicely recorded here with ample acoustic depth to give a real sense of physical presence. Lincoln’s Organist Emeritus, Colin Walsh, might be better known for his recorded forays into the French Romantic repertory, but like all organists worth their salt he is utterly at home playing Bach, and does so in an easy-going, non-pretentious, un-idiosyncratic manner.

The word ‘comfortable’ leaps to mind when describing this all-Bach recorded recital. Anyone looking for state-of-the-art, scholarly informed and distinctive Bachplaying will find what they are looking for in abundance elsewhere; what we have here is an immensely pleasurable recital that is utterly comfortable in its own skin. Editions used and interpretative gestures employed might not satisfy the ardent seeker-after-Bachian-truth (whatever that might be) but will unquestionably satisfy everyone who simply relishes the sound of a fine organist, playing fine music on a fine organ.

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