Time Present and Time Past

Time Present and Time Past—Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord; Concerto Cologne (Archiv 4794481)

Here’s some advice to raise an eyebrow: "If you buy only one record of harpsichord music in your life ... buy this sensational album.”  That’s from The Times of London last year when this disc was released. They continue: “The 30-year-old Iranian-American Mahan Esfahani has been making waves among connoisseurs for several years.  Now he emerges as a superstar whose musicianship, imagination, virtuosity, cultural breadth and charisma far transcends the ivory tower in which the harpsichord has traditionally been placed ... Where necessary, Esfahani is brilliantly accompanied by Concerto Köln.  Even their final performance – of J. S. Bach's Vivaldi-inspired harpsichord concerto in D Minor, with its plangently lyrical slow movement – has a delicious twist.  In the last movement Esfahani inserts a flamboyant cadenza by Brahms, of all people. A truly magical mash-up of times past, present and future." Four of the works on the program are inspired by the old ‘La Follia’ tune, including Henryk Górecki’s weird and wonderful Harpsichord Concerto composed in 1940.

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