Guest: Four fugues Op. 13
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Guest (1771-1831) was organist of Wisbech and had previously been a chorister at the Chapel Royal in London under James Nares and Edmund Ayrton. As John Collins says, these fugues show 'a far less highly idiosyncratic approach to ornamentation and registration than that indicated in his Sixteen Voluntaries.' These voluntaries, also published by Fitzjohn, are, I think, more interesting, but the fugues have their own merits. There is the occasional oddity in the way that each of the fugue subject begins with grace notes, which it is suggested are played as semi quavers. The first fugue has several extended passages of left hand octaves, which would be helped by a judicious use of pedals, without a 16 ft stop. If you are as much of an addict of 18th-century music as I am, then these are a necessary part of your collection - though I still prefer the Sixteen Voluntaries. Trevor Webb
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