This splendid two-disc set continues to reinforce MD&G's peerless reputation in the organ recordings field. Bach's Leipzig Chorales are amongst his most popular works and although short in the most part, the depth is never far away. Craig Humber's playing is of the highest order and he is right there amongst the best which include Peter Hurford, Christopher Herrick and the great Helmut Walcha. The real star of this set is however the Silbermann Organ in Freiberg. In fact Humber expounds on the myriad virtues of this splendid instrument in an extensive essay which accompanies the discs and which demonstrates his profound admiration for this particular organ. The sounds and deep fortissimos are especially apparent in the second work on disc, "Komm Heiliger Geist", surely one of Bach's most inspired works for the organ. MD&G's multichannel DSD recording captures all the sonic splendor of this great organ as well as its more tender moments. Humber's interpretations are right up there with the very best so those wishing to invest in a new version of these chorales should investigate without delay.
...the CD is convincing from the first seconds... The sound quality is excellent, close to a live concert, and leaves no desires unfulfilled. The sound of the Silbermann organ in the church is very realistic to the very last detail... dynamic organ playing of the young Craig Humber... Clear buying recommendation for all Bach and Silbermann friends- and those who want to be.
...The Canadian organist, Craig F. Humber...clearly has an affinity with this organ and Bach's music. He has an excellent grasp of the subtleties of articulation and the attention to small motifs that baroque instrumentalists would take for granted, but organists often ignore. His use of the wide range of tone colours of the St. Petri organ is exemplary, as is his sense of the musical structure of the pieces. Thoroughly recommended.
Early Music Review, June 2010
The two Mozart Fantasies originally composed for automatic organ KV 594 and KV 608 formed the climax and conclusion of the recital, presented with highest perfection and sovereignty, that the audience honoured with extended applause.
Elsterberger Nachrichten, 13.6.2006
The organ's overwhelming energy and might surged into the audience. Virtuosic, the volcanic work (Bach's great E minor Prelude and Fugue BWV 548) heaved and raged by Humber's playing. Cascades of applause and bravos broke out.
Sächsische Zeitung, 12.07.2004
...with disciplined finger technique the soloist successfully presented the most nimble passages in utmost clarity.
(about Fantasy and Fugue on B.A.C.H. Op. 46 of Max Reger) ...his registrations allowed seamless transformation of sound with colour diversity, as found in post-Romantic orchestras.
...immense, powerful drive and rousing vitality.
Neubrandenburger Nachrichten, 18.04.2004
...for Craig Humber, the enormously difficult pieces appear to be tailor-made.
His playing exudes clarity, warmth and knowledge.
Humber has, in particularly keeping with Bach, his attention on the pedal... In this manner, the finale (Bach Fantasy and Fugue in G minor BWV 542), regardless of all virtuosity and creative expression, was performed so naturally.
Freie Presse, 5.8.2005