"Rarely does one come across a publication on playing the organ which covers the subject in its entirety as the one Barbara Kraus has presented here. Not only the ingenious way in which the purely technical difficulties with regards to playing the organ are mastered is noteworthy, but also the methods on how to cope with different problems which a soloist might encounter at his/her own “cognitive” level.
Furthermore, Ms. Kraus encourages everyone teaching the organ to be inspired by these exercises to develop others related to either these or other specifically technical difficulties.
All of this is expressed in an extremely clear way.
One can only hope that this publication will receive the acclaim it deserves."
"Practising the Organ" is a terrific foray into the art of practicing and a helpful, informative technical 'how-to' resource. Although perhaps most valuable for aspiring organists and students, even mature players would find in its pages food for thought and help in figuring out why that difficult passage continues to be elusive ... How I wish I had this book during my formative years!"
The American Organist Magazine, July 2014
"After setting forth an historical background to the principles and protocols of practising the piano and organ in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the author includes a short treatise by André Isoir, on developing solid manual and pedal techniques. Perhaps the most useful part of this book is the many practical exercises which follow, all taken from mainstream repertoire to illustrate and provide solutions from everything to integrating the thumb into group-of-four, thumb-crossings, trills, alternate hands, pedal exercises, coordination of hands and feet, polyphonic pedal, etc., etc – all emphasising the vital element of using the disceming ear.
The section on the "Inner Elastic Metronome" was for me one of the most enlightening and intriguing. Finally, there is a very short but practical checklist on preparation and "pre-constructing" for a recital.
This book is an invaluable "console-side" resource for organists of all levels."
The Sydney Organ Journal 2/2014
"This book is a treasury of new practical exercises for the student and welcome support for the teacher when trying to improve on assessing and solving his or her student’s difficulties. How should one practice a new piece? Which technical weakness relates to which unconsciously conditioned habit? ... The tips on mental practice without the organ and the mental preparation of a recital polish this book up to completion … highly recommendable!"
Musica Sacra 3/04
"… Interesting variations on practical exercises in unison with training of absolutely critical listening skills …. The subtitle of the book – “The shortest connection between the hands and the feet is the ear” – sums it up… a new and refreshingly non-ideological book."
Musik und Kirche 4/04
"Practising ‘the Kraus way’ certainly sometimes entails hard work, but is just as promising in terms of success. A rewarding book best laid down next to the organ within hands’ reach in case one catches oneself simply playing through the pieces."
Forum Kirchenmusik 1/05