The title alone is enough to make the heart beat a little faster. It is not coincidental that many music lovers have just this work as a centre in their private musical universe, a piece they return to again and again, always to find something new. A set of variations which stretches the limits; old man Bach with the powers to make the variation-form a display of pure music.
Haugsand is professor of harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, and is regarded as one of the great harpsichordists and Early Music personalities of today. The Norwegian born musician studied with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he was awarded the coveted ‘Prix d’Excellence’ in 1975. Later he was a prize winner at international harpsichord competitions in Paris and Bruges
Although himself placed right in the middle today’s constant stream of newly found sources, historically informed performance practice ideologies and theories, Haugsand reminds us that Bach wrote these works for “the spiritual fulfilment of music lovers”
– That leaves me, the music lover, free to relish in the perfect beauty of these works, fully enjoying an extremely rich and dynamic espressivo; honing some hair-raising technical challenges, or simply having fun (albeit of a tricky kind) in playing them with good conscience, even if words like “beauty,” “enjoyment” and “simple fun” represent a rather uncommon lingo in the context of “historical evidence” or “findings in sources”..