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Bach: Trio Sonata/Rakich et al. (2 CDs) March 31, 2009
Reviewer: Pamela Decker from Tucson, AZ United States  
The films "Babette's Feast" and "Chocolat" draw upon the viewer's experience of the joy, grace, and nurturance that great food can bring.  These films came to mind as I listened to "Christa's Feast" of immensely satisfying Bach performances.  Rakich is adept at allowing Bach to take center stage while still establishing that the performer makes an invaluable contribution.  The trio sonatas shine as works either for solo organ or for ensembles involving the various instrumentalists (all very fine).  In the ensembles Christa Rakich is a responsive teammate, offering elegant collaborative performances.  

Rakich offers an abundance of pleasure with this "feast" of musical delights.  Her splendid technique transcends the usual demands of precision to include many layers of interpretive subtleties, illuminating the included works with a marvelous blend of virtuosity and sensitivity.  The engineering is superb, as is customary with Loft Recordings.

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Glorious September 11, 2008
Reviewer: Jonathan Dimmock from San Francisco, CA United States  
Dear Christa,



I just finished listening to your Bach trio double disc.  What a great accomplishment.  Elegant playing, very creative programming, really enjoyable to listen to, lots of color variation.  I love the idea of using so many organs (although I'm sure that's about the most expensive way to do something like this).  And the gamba and violin playing on sonata IV is truly elegant.



Roger, nice job yourself!



Many congratulations on a superb project.



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Definitive recording June 8, 2008
Reviewer: Leonardo Ciampa from East Boston, MA United States  
This disc reinforces Rakich's reputation as one of the supreme Bach players in the world.  

The six Trio sonatas are the 'most difficult' works ever written for organ.  Rakich increases the difficulties further by omitting 16' tone in all of the fast movements.  Her feet are as nimble as her hands; it really does sound like three hands are playing.  There's nary a moment of technical insecurity or coordination difficulty.  But when is the playing not graceful?  She neither rushes nor plays it safe.  It 'sounds easy.'

Several of the trios employ a chamber ensemble.  However, to me they give less insight into the pieces and more insight into Christa Rakich, who proves that she is just as musical without the other instrumentalists.  She is her own chamber ensemble.

If all this isn't enough, Rakich offers the addition of the two 'most difficult' Preludes and Fugues.  Rakich handles them the same way as she handles the trios: like music.  (Technical difficulties?  Where?)

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A new favorite June 3, 2008
Reviewer: Greg Harrold from Culver City, CA United States  
What a wonderful recording you made! Your interpretation of the trios is so mature, with great depth and sensitivity. I was especially charmed by your reading of the gallant elements. The various organs all sound fine. That was such a nice idea, as was including two trios using traverso, violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord. The playing by all was exquisite there, too. Opening and closing each set of trios with a prelude and fugue made for a perfect balance. In all, your Bach trio recording is a great achievement.

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Bach's Trio Sonatas April 13, 2008
Reviewer: Anonymous Person from Wellesley, MA United States  
This is organ playing as it should be heard;  completely compelling and captivating in the most satisfying way.  It takes the listener 'into the zone', so to say, of the greatness of Bach. The timelessness of his appeal is completely apparent in Rakich's artistry.  A 'tour de force' of the first magnitude.  Brava!

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  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
What a fabulous new CD! April 10, 2008
Reviewer: Susan Ferre from Kingston, OK United States  
What a fabulous new CD!  and what a wonderfully varied concert, great choice of instruments, impeccable, informed, sensitive playing, and the use of the glockenspiel made us laugh out loud; incredibly delicious, perfectly appropriate, and stroke of genius!  The beautiful playing,  perfect tempi, with instrumentalists of the highest order, beautifully balanced, all contribute to make this CD stand out from the rest with beautiful results.

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Christa Rakich's Trio Sonata Recording March 26, 2008
Reviewer: David Snyder from Buffalo, NY United States  
<DIV>To speak of this production in generalities would be simply to repeat my enthusiastic remarks that appear as a customer review about Christa Rakich's recording of the Bach Leipzig Chorales. After reading the notes in the accompanying booklet written by herself and Owen ander, I wasn't sure but that I was going to hear some eccentricities, but I was pleased to encounter performances that never sounded pushed or nervous and an approach that allowed the music to speak for itself. But why not instead pick special gems out of this jewelry box? <BR><BR>* The charm of the Glockenspiel in Sonata 1...simply darling; suggestive in sound of a child's reaction to the twinkling of its first Christmas tree. <BR>* The flutes with Tremolo of the Harrold organ...such opulence; it simply melts in your mouth. <BR>* The last two movements of the e minor Sonata...a perfect sound for those pieces; so tender in the Largo and so dancing and "galant" in the final movement. Both sonata arrangements are pleasing, as is the continuo playing. <BR>* The magnificent Fritts organ in the b minor Prelude and Fugue. I can't imagine the piece being played better and I think the composer himself would have been delighted with the instrument (That 32' reed at the end of the fugue!). And nothing heard here seems out of place or artificially imposed on the music. <BR><BR>The great writer Gertrude Stein was once asked a variant of the Freud question "What do women want?" The questioner said "What do artists want?" She threw back her head and laughed. "Praise!" she eplied, "PRAISE!!" This CD set deserves all available praise, and I hope it's much sold and repeatedly listened to. </DIV>

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