Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani contrasts and connects the keyboard works of William Byrd, Bach and Ligeti in this concert recital recorded at London’s Wigmore Hall,’ begins Kate Bolton in her review of this recording in the August issue of BBC Music Magazine.
She goes on to say: ‘He brings intelligence and grace to the Ricecars and a canon from Bach’s Music Offering, their contrapuntal lines spun with limpid clarity,’ awarding the disc five stars for both the performance and recording quality.
JS Bach composed his Musical Offering as a tribute to Frederick the Great after paying him a visit in 1747. While there, the monarch challenged Bach to improvise three- and six-part fugues at the keyboard, a challenge he met with improvised three-part fugues and a six-part one on a theme the king had previously composed. Several weeks later Bach completed his Musical Offering, a set of pieces on this ‘Royal Theme’.