Re: Bach

Re: Bach

by Lara St. John



Lara St. John has gained a reputation for being both a willowy sex symbol (witness the revealing pictures that adorn some of her albums) and a top-flight young violinist who is especially adept at Bach -- an outward contradiction that has made St. John resistant to pigeonholing and has kept critics waffling. Re: Bach will do nothing to quell that debate. To the contrary, it is likely to inflame it. Here, St. John teams up with producer-arranger Magnus Fiennes, the man behind Bond, the comely female string quartet who play classical themes spiked with pulsating dance beats. Not surprisingly, Re: Bach follows a similar scheme, lacing tunes from J. S. Bach with pop-style production that borrows from jazz, world, and other styles to reinterpret the composer's music in a contemporary vein. Sometimes the results are striking. When a tabla (an Indian hand drum) enters to accompany a St. John solo on "Bombay Minor," the outcome is an ear-opening hybrid, a piquant mix of instruments that blend together like spices in curry. Other tracks are less innovative but never fail to give Bach an original spin. More highbrow than Bond, the album samples both well-known and unfamiliar themes from the Baroque master. It also benefits from St. John's skillful playing, however augmented by Fiennes's handiwork. Re: Bach may well prove controversial, yet St. John is clearly not about to shy away from any succès de scandale; indeed, whatever she does next, odds are it won't be standard issue.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/25/2004
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969302224
catalogNumber: 93022

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lara St. John   Primary Artist,Violin
Trilok Gurtu   Percussion,Tabla,Vocals
B.J. Cole   Pedal Steel Guitar
Laurence Cottle   Bass Guitar,Fretless Bass Guitar
Andy Findon   Flute
Brian Gascoigne   Organ,Synthesizer,Marimbas,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Robbie Hay Jacobs   Cello
Greg Knowles   Dulcimer,Cymbalom
Chris Laurence   Double Bass
Chris Lawrence   Double Bass
John Themis   Acoustic Guitar
Philip Todd   Flute
Tim Vine   Clavinet,Wurlitzer,Wah Wah Clavinet
John Parricelli   Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Classical Guitar
Paul Clarvis   Percussion
Magnus Fiennes   Synthesizer
Anna Noakes   Alto Flute
Ric Featherstone   Synthesizer
Yoad Nevo   Synthesizer,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar
Matthew Sharp   Cello
Aziz Chabadiss   Ney,Ney Flute
Eddie Hessian   Accordion
Robbie Jacobs   Cello
Dario Rossetti-Bonell   Guitar,Classical Guitar
Christopher Lawrence   Double Bass
Dario Bonell   Classical Guitar
Lawrence Cottell   Bass,Fretless Bass Guitar
Pandit Danesh   Percussion,Tabla
Christopher Laurence   Double Bass
Phil Todd   Flute
Robbie Jacobs   Cello
John Paracelli   Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar
Pandit Danesh   Percussion,Tabla
Krzysztof Chorzelski   Viola

Technical Credits

Trilok Gurtu   Vocal Effect
Johann Sebastian Bach   Composer
Haydn Bendall   Engineer
Brian Gascoigne   Arranger,Programming
Magnus Fiennes   Arranger,Programming,Producer
Jonathan Stokes   Engineer
Jeremy Caulton   Executive Producer
Ric Featherstone   Programming
Laura Kszan   Packaging Manager
Yoad Nevo   Programming
Jeff McLaughlin   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Re: Bach 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The electronic back beats and synthesized accompaniment are at best distracting, and at worst, overpowering, some of the most beautiful playing. This CD went to the trash can after one listening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have loved Bach for many years. Lara's take is both refreshing and inviting. Great for cruising down the freeway after work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this album from Barnes & Noble in Orlando for my father's radio station, and we are already using it on air. I don't know how they did it, but they have made Bach smoothly palatable to the average person, while also including a few raw arrangements like the duet with Trilok Gurtu, an amazing Indian tabla player who I've seen in concert. That was a surprise! We need more modern Bach recordings like this. If you enjoy Bach's intricately stable geometric compositions, there will be at least two or three cuts on this baby that will delight your ears and mind. Too bad Hilary Hahn was unable to create on this level.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"re: Bach" is loud, crass and full of bad ideas of what to do with Bach's music. And it is almost completely lacking in charm and nuance. The sound of the violin - which can be heard throughout the album and has the lead melody most of the time - sounds positively ridiculous inside the pop environment, pretending to be a cool sax or jazzy flute. And it's sound?! St. John is probably the only violinist I know who can make a Strad, the most beautiful sounding violin in the world, sound crude. The only redemption is the Indian tabla player, as unlike St. john, doesn't make a fool out of himself. But even he doesn't make "re: Bach" worth your hard- earned cash.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Exposing Lara as a dim-witted, foolish musician, this recording can only harm her already diminishing career. It’s puzzling that there are some out there who find this recording to be anything more than banal, outdated pop music. Certainly among the weakest recordings Sony ever released. I’ll be very curious to see what will be her next release for Sony. In fact, I'll even be surprised if there will be a next one, after such a complete dud.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this album to be a great delight. Arabic and Indian influences abound. The duet with Trilok Gurtu is amazing. If you enjoy Bach, you have to like at least one cut on this baby.