– J. S. Bach: Goldberg-Variationen, BWV 988
Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)
The Russian ambassador to the court of Saxony, Count Hermann Carl Keyserlingk, used to have his sleepless nights whiled away by the musical artistry of his private harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. To expand the nocturnal repertoire he also asked Johann Sebastian Bach to compose something for him, upon which the cantor of St. Thomas’s Church wrote a voluminous cycle of variations. – Although this anecdote, handed down to us by Johann Nikolaus Forkel, is not actually true, this work by Bach is known to this day as the »Goldberg Variations«, after its presumed first performer. The cantor of St. Thomas’s published this weighty work in 1741 as the fourth and final part of his »Clavier-Übung«. It will be played in a late-night performance by the young Iranian harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani.