Virtuoso pianist with Goldberg Variations
One-time Gramophone Classic Music Award winner Fazil Say has not performed Bach for 20 years. Only now is this Turkish pianist ready to undertake the Goldberg Variations.
A declaration of love to Bach
Twenty years have passed since the Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say first tackled Bach. But when the pandemic put a halt to life on the road and silence fell, Say felt that he was finally ready to immerse himself in the legendary Goldberg Variations.
“The fact that this work has been performed hundreds of times and sounded different every time attests to how sublime the construction of the work really is,” says Say.
His own recording was released in 2022 and Say’s interpretation will now be performed on the Main Stage.
… this stands out from the common run of Goldbergs.
A work of possibilities
With his unique and emotional interpretation, Say shows that Bach’s iconic piece is full of contradictions and various musical styles, although written in more or less only one key.
“I have searched for myself, and for Bach, in this mathematical reflection. But a journey like this one takes an entire lifetime and this work, which is continuously renewed, will outlive us all,” he says.
Listen to Say’s recording from 2022 here:
Relatively unknown until 1955
Bach originally wrote the work as a practice piece for his harpsichord students. It was rarely performed during the 1700s and 1800s, only used as inspiration and as a reference work for other composers interested in mastering this form of variation.
It was not until Glenn Gould made his recording debut in 1955 that the piece made a true comeback. Gould’s interpretation was rebellious and original, and paved the way for the idea that pianists could add something new to the work. It is this tradition that Say is joining when he performs at the Oslo Opera House.
Sunday 19. November18:00 / Main Stage