VÍKINGUR ÓLAFSSON - Bach Reworks - LP - 002894835831
Autores: Johann Sebastian Bach, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Peter Gregson, Ben Frost, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Thomas Rabitsch, Skúli Sverrisson, Halla Oddný Magnúsdóttir, Víkingur Ólafsson
Editor: Deutsche Grammophon
Géneros: Electronic, Classical, Baroque, Contemporary, Modern Classical, Electroacoustic, Ambient, Minimalism, Baroque Music
‘We’re in a golden age for classical music,” says Víkingur Ólafsson. Spend time in the 35-year-old’s musical company and you might well agree. His album, Bach, has just been named recording of the year in the BBC Music Magazine awards – no surprise given the five-star raves it received on its release in September. “Ravishing … a miracle of delicate control”, “Ólafsson’s Bach will quench your thirst”, “infectiously joyous energy… he is a remarkable musician” said the critics. The collection of 35 short pieces features original Bach works for keyboard interspersed with a variety of transcriptions that, from Stradal to Ólafsson himself via Kempff, Busoni, and Rachmaninov, traverse the last 150 years of Bach readings.
Much of the treated music shimmers and glints, new shapes appear, others disintegrate in a fog, or, with an almost imperceptible bass ticking like a heartbeat, gain fragility and poignancy. But is there a danger, as with any crossover-style project that “updates” classical music, that we lose sight of Bach?
“Yes … He is the easiest composer to get wrong, because everything is so open,” says Ólfasson. “I know some people hate the idea of doing electronic things with Bach. But he himself was a great experimenter. I wanted to show that his music is there to open windows. Everyone has to find their own Bach.”
He scoffs at the idea that people today don’t know how to listen to classical music. “Everyone knows how to listen to music, just like we know how to drink water. You just listen and then you like it or you don’t. Sure, you still do meet people from your parents’ generation who think classical music is stuck up and snobby, but the real elitists are the ones paying £500 for a Stones ticket. Everything is contemporary music if it’s played today.”