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Musical World

Mahan Esfahani

  • Harpsichordist


Mahan Esfahani press reviews

“..once seated at the keyboard, he becomes amazingly animated, his face registering every quiver of emotion, his right knee flying up when things get really animated…As for Esfahani’s playing, it makes maximum use of the harpsichord’s main expressive resources...the opening Adagio from Handel’s F major Suite, an impassioned song over a pacing left hand, took on a wonderful elastic quality. When the line arched upwards, the beat seemed momentarily pulled back; when it tumbled down, it urged forward, but never in a way that seemed mechanical. This was music, not the aural equivalent of a switchback.” (The Telegraph, April 2010)

“The Friday YEMF lunchtime recital (Unitarian Chapel) hosted a wide range of 17th and 18th-century harpsichord music by the excellent Mahan Esfahani. The programme opened with a Froberger toccata with dazzling keyboard skills, resulting in a polished and very animated performance. Indeed, as the Couperin confirmed, Mahan Esfahani is a consummate performer, playing with vitality, drive and authority... The opening of the Bach English Suite No.2 was like stepping into a musical Rolls Royce, the music sublime, the playing simply imperious.” (The Press, July 2010)

"...a stunning concert by Iranian-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani of Domenico Scarlatti sonatas, carefully chosen and paired, and played with both a sensitivity and vibrance that will send me running to the box office when I next see his name in a concert programme. " (Early Music Today, October/November 2007)

"...nothing could have prepared me for the brilliance and artistry of Mahan Esfahani, who, despite his young age, played with the musicality and virtuosity of a master. Specializing in early keyboards, Mahan more than breathed life into rarely-played works by Dufay, Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, and Purcell - using recreations of Renaissance and Baroque organs and harpsichords, he breathed fire into them. Not a single phrase lacked purpose or direction the entire evening." (Keyboard Magazine, July 2005)

"Finally, two solos by Mahan Esfahani deserve special mention - Sweelinck's Mein junges Leben hat ein End, a tour de force on the harpsichord, and his dramatic improvisation on the organ... the audience went wild." (San Francisco Classical Voice, June 2006)