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Haig Mardirosian
Fanfare, December 1999

Stephan Engels brings youthful vitality to these well-known scores. Though recorded in the extreme acoustics of the Heilig-Geist Kirche in Mannheim, Engels carefully articulates and sets off motives. The room lends its own long line to Dupre's phrases. Certainly, the canonic variations on the Noel would be pedestrian if not minced elsewhere. Here, they remain lucid and intelligible. Likewise the diabolical C-Major Fugue remains intelligible throughout its demonic episodes. I find it's gratifying to hear this convincingly French and arguably exciting Karl Gockel organ in Mannheim. Perhaps as a result of the acoustical qualities of the church, the organ evinces the muscle and impact of instruments ordinarily twice its size.





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