Ólafsson Releases New Bach Single

After thrilling audiences on his recent tour of Australia, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson continues his journey with the music of J S Bach with the release of a series of six new Bach singles on the Deutsche Gramophon label. Recorded at Reykjavík’s Harpa concert hall in January, the tracks feature piano arrangements of sacred pieces by Bach, four of which have been realised by Ólafsson himself.
Ólafsson will share six piano arrangements over the coming months with the complete set released as an EP digitally and on vinyl on 18 October 2024. Listen to the first Bach single Es ist vollbracht  from the Cantata BWV 159.
Víkingur Ólafsson analysed both the vocal and instrumental scores of J S Bach in order to transcribe them for the piano. Having included one cantata arrangement on his award-winning Johann Sebastian Bach album, he has now prepared four more for this series. He has arranged the choruses Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis from BWV 21 (out on 17 May) and Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen from BWV 12 (21 June) and Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich from BWV 150 (19 July).
Ólafsson has also recorded two arrangements by other composers. A four-hands version of the chorale prelude Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614, arranged by György Kurtág, set for release on 20 September, which he performs with his wife, Halla Oddný Magnúsdottir, His reading of the sacred motet Komm, süßer Tod, BWV 478, arranged by Harold Bauer (1873-1951) will be issued on 18 October, alongside the EP.
Ólafsson’s Goldberg Variations recording was released last October to unanimous critical acclaim. Chosen as a “best of 2023” album by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Financial Times and The Guardian, it achieved extraordinary international chart and streaming success.

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