by Rachel Beaumont

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Too much Bach: Mahan Esfahani at Wigmore Hall

Mahan Esfahani
Wigmore Hall
Balcony D17, £25
20 October 2020
Wigmore page

French Suite No. 2 in C minor BWV813
Prelude in A minor BWV922
Fugue in B minor BWV951
French Suite No. 3 in B minor BWV814
Suite in A minor BWV818a
French Suite No. 4 in E flat BWV815

I thought you could never have too much Bach, but it turns out I can, at least when played on the harpsichord by Mahan Esfahani. I unreasonably took against Esfahani, with his fussy playing and pompous little speeches of Bach geekery – he’s a Bach harpsichord geek, and what’s wrong with that? I think I was unfair in my expectations: I’ve heard so much about Esfahani that on this the first time of hearing him play I expected to be blown away by Schiff-level insight. Perhaps that would have been easier to yield had I been sitting closer to the stage; but from where I was in the balcony, this concert was an unexpected slog.

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