R e v i e w s
In addition to being a sensitive and intelligent musician, Rachel Laurin boasts a solid and impressive instrumental technique. She is without any doubt one of the best representatives of the new up and coming generation of Quebec’s school of organ playing. Montreal, Le Devoir, 1989 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
Rachel Laurin performed Reger’s monumental Triptych op. 127 with authority, sensitivity, musicality and knowledge of registrations that define her without a doubt as one of the future great names among this country’s organists. Montreal, La Presse, 1991 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
[…] Marcel Dupré’s colossal, grandiose and lisztian work has found a performer in Rachel Laurin that is both convinced and convincing. Both intimate in the delicate Lamento and stunningly virtuosic in the Deux Esquisses, she attained the highest level from a musical and technical point of view in her reading of the very long Evocation during which she drew upon many orchestral textures. Following a standing ovation, she offered an improvisation in the style of Dupré most eloquently. Montreal, La Presse, 1996 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
Rachel Laurin : magical and majestic! Marchienne, Belgium, 1997. (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
Rachel Laurin revealed the great luminescence of this unique instrument. […] Each aspect is all the while given and reconsidered with imagination, refinement and power…Receiving extended applause, Rachel Laurin offered an original encore, playful, fresh and tender from the piano repertoire: Paganini’s Perpetual Motion. Brussels, Belgium, 1997 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
Not only was the performance of the Canadian virtuoso denoted for its technical perfection and brilliance, she also showed herself to be a gifted composer, having produced over 30 works. Wangen, Germany, 1997 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc.
Rachel Laurin possesses all the required qualities to perform these works : powerful technique free of any constraints, imagination in her registrations, and breadth of her musicianship and interpretative skills. In addition, as a composer in her own right, she clearly comprehends this music’s architecture that is so fully written and often very complex. Montreal, La Presse, 1997 (Review of her recording of Raymond Daveluy’s Five Sonatas) (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
Having rendered the "General indications of registrations”, with imagination, taste and with a veritable science of organ playing…Rachel Laurin brought very convincing enlightenment to this music that, under other hands, may appear to be rather dull. Montreal, La Presse, 1997 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
[…] Here, we can speak of an artist in the noblest sense of the word, and perhaps even of a genius. What Rachel Laurin achieved, simply from a technical level, particularly in terms of speed and coordination, was dumb-founding and, mostly, totally free of any sense of constraints. She now masters the instrument more than ever. What she attained in ambiance at the end of both the slower movements of Vierne’s 6th Symphony cannot be put into words. One had to be there to hear and sense the subtle and refined blends of sounds emerging from the Beckerath, sounds that appeared to emerge from beyond[…] Montreal, La Presse, 1998 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc)
Rachel Laurin demonstrated her undeniable qualities as a performer and as an improviser throughout her recital that was full of colour, simplicity and intelligence. Oleggio, Italy, 1998 (English trans.: Gilles Leclerc)
Having selected to perform the longest and most complex of all Franz Schmidt’s organ works, the Prelude and Fugue in E flat major (1924), Rachel Laurin proceeded to offer a perfect reading: colossal in its breadth, architecture and sonority, dizzying in its technical requirements, always inspiring and always poetic even in the most intimate moments that contrast with sudden thundering declamations. The dramatic Brahms Variations flowed with an extraordinary vigor that was assured by her superb rhythmical precision and absolute control of the instrument. Montreal, La Presse, 1999 (Translation: Gilles Leclerc).
The breath, energy and communicative joy that came through her performance of the 6th Symphony’s Finale, with its earth-shaking sixteenth-notes in the pedal part, left this audience member in complete suspension. Montreal, La Presse, 2000, (Closing recital of the Complete Vierne Symphonies series) (Translation: Gilles Leclerc).
Rachel Laurin’s organ recital at St Peter’s Cathedral Basilica on Thursday, July 21st, was a perfect union of performer, instrument, environment and repertoire. St Peter’s impressive soaring space, resplendent with colour and noteworthy acoustic, perfectly complemented Laurin’s stylish playing... The performance of Rachel Laurin’s own compositions was perhaps the highlight of the concert. We were swept along by her Étude Héroïque, Op.38 –music that shimmered with life and lived up to its title…and Daveluy’s Toccata from Sonata No.6 which finished the concert in a blaze of sound and colour. Organ Canada, 2005 (on a recital in the National Convention of the RCCO, London, ON)
There was no less excitement at Rachel Laurin’s recital. Beginning with the “Chaconne” from Raymond Daveluy’s Third Sonata, the audience ignored the dictum to hold applause until the end of the recital and burst into enthusiastic applause at the end of the piece... Rachel Laurin is not only a brilliant performer but also an equally brilliant composer. Her skills as a transcriber were next demonstrated by her transcription of Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel. The colorful registrations and stylistic writing for the organ make this a welcome addition to the repertoire and will certainly be taken up by any of a number of organists… Not for the faint-hearted, the Étude is a brilliant tour de force that brought the audience to its feet in rapturous applause. The American Organist, 2008 (on a recital in the AGO Convention 2008)