Lara St. John

Re: Bach

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Re: Bach is Lara St. John's fourth CD and her first on a major label. Her first two CDs were best-sellers recorded for the small Well-Tempered Productions. On the cover of Bach Works for Solo Violin, St. John appeared naked wearing only her violin across her breasts. On the cover of Gypsy, St. John wore a half-open black leather jacket with only her long blond hair covering her left breast. On the cover of Bach: The Concerto Album, St. John wore a low-cut gown with the straps slipping down her left arm. Now on the cover of her Sony CD, St. John appears fully dressed wearing a black leather skirt and a sleeveless blouse.

The cover is by far the most tasteful thing about Re: Bach because the actual music on the disc stinks in the ear. Earlier, St. John had been content merely to play the music of Bach with a shallow tone and a serviceable technique in quintessentially meaningless interpretations. But in these arrangements by Magnus Fiennes, snippets of tunes by Bach are embedded in noxious noises fusing the baser elements of what is inaccurately called world music with a pop producer's profoundly superficial sensibilities. The results are at best dreary music suitable for dentists' offices, and at worst as bad as the worst trash ever inflicted on the musical world. On Re: Bach, St. John's playing is as shallow and meaningless as before, but now, in addition, she degrades the music of Bach itself. This is one of the foulest discs ever released. An aesthetic abomination and a musical mortal sin, this is one of the foulest discs ever released.

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