In this, his second DG release, the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has turned to the keyboard music of Bach, and given the quicksilver tempi and digital clarity in his Philip Glass, I was eager to listen. Ólafsson has taken time to formulate his views on Bach, stating that he is a composer who is perpetually undergoing change due to a question of instrument and the individual performer. It is not surprising to discover which pianists helped formulate his approach: Edwin Fischer, Rosalyn Tureck, Gilels and Argerich, not to mention the Canadian maverick Glenn Gould. I fully concur with his idea that while the academics tend to focus on his large-scale and monumental works like the Matthew Passion and the Goldbergs, it’s also equally possible to find such grandeur and mastery within a short keyborad prelude, a fugue...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now