Title - 'Time Present And Time Past'
Artist - Mahan Esfahani
The uber talented Mahan Esfahani is an Iranian-American harpsichordist. The first harpsichordist named as a BBC Radio 3 (UK) New Generation Artist, as a concerto soloist and recitalist, he has gained an international reputation.
Born in Tehran, Esfahani grew up in the United States. While at Stanford University, Esfahani studied harpsichord with Elaine Thornburgh in addition to musicology and came most seriously under the influence of the American scholar George Houle.
Later, he continued his harpsichord studies with the Australian harpsichordist Peter Watchorn in Boston and with the Italian organist Lorenzo Ghielmi in Milan, and completed his studies with the Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Rùžièková.
Unlike the mainstream of harpsichordists concertising today he has largely diverged from the school of Gustav Leonhardt, though he does cite him as an important spiritual influence.
And so, here today, Gramophone Award winner Esfahani now explores the relationship between two musical genres which are 300 years apart, yet emphasizing its similarities by playing all pieces on period instruments which has never been done before with the Reich and Gorecki pieces.
Time Present and Time Past is an eclectic program fusing Baroque with Minimalism and the first harpsichord album DG has released in over 30 years! The pieces on the album range from Bachs hit piano concerto BWV 1052 to contemporary compositions by Reich (Piano Phase) and Gorecki (Harpsichord Concerto, Op.40).
Esfahani breathes new life into these pieces here on Time Present and Time Past, and as much as it is a true harpsichord work of art, the album is far from being stuck in a classical vein. Headed there, sure, in style, but the interpretations are outstanding. Magnificent, in fact.