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13 July : Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin

The bright sounds of Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin's chosen registration in JS Bach's Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist, BWV 671 and her control of the music's inexorable forward momentum were typical of her recital as a whole and helped make for a compelling evening.

Her refreshingly clear-eyed view of Franck's Prelude, Fugue and Variation was quicker than we often hear, without sounding rushed. Steering well clear of the mawkishness that can sometimes clog the piece, it still left room for expressive flexibility of tempo.

In Mendelssohn's 6th Sonata, a set of variations on the Lutheran chorale Vater Unser, Cauchefer-Choplin's registrations emphasised the variations' contrasting characters and ensured the chorale melody always stood out clearly, even amid the furious energy of the fourth variation.

Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer Choplin
Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer Choplin

Sophie-Véronique was presented with Frère Jacques as the basis for her concluding improvisation. The resulting set of variations was an astonishing display of on-the-spot musical invention, exploring just about every department of the Cathedral organ, including sounding the deliciously fruity depths of the Contra-Fagotto stop, and ending in a multi-coloured riot of a toccata.

Some of the most enjoyably feisty organ playing I've heard for a long time.

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Copyright © 23 August 2005 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK


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