Johann Sebastian Bach

Víkingur Ólafsson

Johann Sebastian Bach

This exquisite program of Bach won 2019’s BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year award. Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson takes us on a journey through the Baroque composer’s original pieces for keyboard, mixed in with breathtaking arrangements of chorale preludes, violin works, and cantata movements. This collection is, at once, symphonic in scope and profoundly intimate, and Olafsson beautifully expresses Bach’s timeless appeal. August Stradal’s arrangement of the Organ Sonata No. 4’s Adagio is a revelation, as are the Siloti and Rachmaninoff transcriptions—each heartrending and winsome. Elsewhere, Olafsson plays the preludes and fugues, sinfonias and inventions scattered throughout with consummate soul, and the lesser-known, witty Aria Variata at the album’s epicenter is a delightful discovery.

Prelude & Fughetta in G Major, BWV 902
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Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein, Chorale Prelude BWV 734 (Transcr. Wilhelm Kempff)
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Prelude & Fugue in E Minor (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, No. 10), BWV 855
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Organ Sonata No. 4, BWV 528
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Prelude & Fugue in D Major (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, No. 5), BWV 850
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Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, Chorale Prelude BWV 659 (Transcr. by Ferruccio Busoni)
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Prelude & Fugue in C Minor (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, No. 2), BWV 847
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Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54 (Transcr. by Víkingur Ólafsson)
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Aria variata (alla maniera italiana) in A Minor, BWV 989
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Invention No. 12 in A Major, BWV 783
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Sinfonia No. 12 in A Major, BWV 798
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Suite from the Partita No. 3 in E Major for Solo Violin, BWV 1006
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Prelude & Fugue, BWV 855a
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Sinfonia No. 15 in B Minor, BWV 801
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Invention No. 15 in B Minor, BWV 786
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Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974
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Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ, Chorale Prelude BWV 639 (Transcr. by Ferruccio Busoni)
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Fantasia & Fugue in A Minor, BWV 904
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