Bach - Goldberg Variations | Deutsche Grammophon 4795929

Bach - Goldberg Variations

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Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Cat No: 4795929

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 26th August 2016

Contents

Artists

Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Goldberg Variations, BWV988

Artists

Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

About

Harpsichord star Mahan Esfahani approaches one of the greatest masterpieces of the Baroque repertoire with fresh eyes: Bach’s incomparable Goldberg Variations, which he presents in a unique virtuosic way.

“I cannot deny that I find a great deal of narrative and life beyond the score when I play [the Goldberg Variations]. Coming in the last decade of the composer’s life, they offer us a view both of someone looking back on his decades-long aesthetic transformation and of an innovative and sensitive musician responding to new trends and techniques around him.” – Mahan Esfahani

Reviews

The first thing you notice about this remarkable recording is the unusual warmth and tonal vibrancy of the harpsichord, built in 2013 by Huw Sanders after a German two-manual model from around 1710. Mahan Esfahani obviously revels in its capabilities as he takes you on an arresting journey through Bach’s Goldberg Variations, where his sophisticated virtuosity, stylistic aplomb and strong personal profile give fresh and meaningful voice to this well-travelled score. ... In his booklet-notes, Esfahani plays down his own abilities in face of past luminaries such as Wanda Landowska, Ralph Kirkpatrick, Isolde Ahlgrimm, Zuzana Růžičková and Alan Curtis. Don’t believe Esfahani’s modesty for one second. His Goldberg Variations clearly belongs in such company, and in all serious Bach collections.  Jed Distler
Gramophone October 2016
Esfahani shows amazing rhythmic freedom at times, sometimes teasing us with a long pause before a repeat starts. The final sequence of variations 26 to 29 accumulates brilliant excitement, after which the folk songs of variation 30 are a touching relaxation, and the Aria finally emerges intact. A hugely stimulating account of one of the peaks of western music.  Nicholas Kenyon
The Observer 18 September 2016
[Esfahani's] contributions are the extraordinary range and delicacy of his touch and his scrupulous attention to matching phrasing. The second feature is immediately audible in the first of the canons. It's at the unison so the lines are constantly entangled with each other, yet every articulatory subtlety is mirrored bar-by-bar. His touch draws a remarkable variety of tone, density and resonance from his instrument.  George Pratt (Instrumental Choice)
BBC Music Magazine December 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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