There is no substitute for feeling what the composer felt. It doesn't hurt that Rakich was Heiler's last important student. However, he cannot take credit for the unexplainable fact that Rakich seems to know what Bach was thinking. The chorales are not played; they are unfolded. The playing is neither nervous nor calm, neither showy nor scholarly. One hears the music, not organ-playing. As to the organs, Fisk's masterpiece at Old West is magical. One-third of the pipes are from old American organs; though rarely admitted, this is a major reason why this Fisk sounds like none other. Then again, as voiced by any other builder, this would be just another eclectic American tracker from the 1970s. Instead, it is the most sensitive, colorful instrument of its kind. The second half of the disk was recorded on the mighty Fritts organ at Pacific University. In all, you have ideal interpretations of the ideal chorale-preludes on ideal instruments. To own this disk is imperative.
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