APRIL 2023

Interview with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani for Forbes magazine.

An interesting interview with the world-renowned harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, who not only found his home but also inspiration for his artistic creation in Prague, has been published on the Forbes magazine website. Mahan Esfahani released a new CD "Martinů, Krása & Kalabis: Harpsichord Concertos" in early February, featuring recordings of harpsichord concertos by Bohuslav Martinů, Hans Krása, and Viktor Kalabis. In the interview, he talks about his relationship with the music of these composers, remembers his teacher, the virtuoso harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková, and also discusses not only his musical career but also the challenges that artists face and how he managed to find a balance between his work and personal life.

An excerpt from the interview:

"The album is the culmination of all my work with Czech music in recent times. I studied it not only with Zuzana but also long before we met.

Each of the compositions has something unique that reflects the Czech experience. In the case of Martinů, I would say that it fulfills the hope of Czech cosmopolitans in the 20th century. You can translate it however you like, but Martinů really achieves aesthetic certainty only in France, America, or Switzerland.

That is the difference compared to someone like Krása, who represents cosmopolitan traditions of the First Republic and who basically earned the envy of his colleagues for being different but also very good. Krása is a truly outstanding composer. Of all the composers of his generation, he always seemed the most interesting, the least predictable.

And finally, Kalabis represents this experience in the sense that he was suppressed. It is an experience of the difficulty of human existence in a repressive time. As I wrote in the booklet, anyone could be Kalabis. There is hope and cynicism in him, which represents his time and place very well. But of course, it is not outdated music. Kalabis is incredibly timeless.

If you told me that I had to record only one work, it would be Kalabis. In a sense, Kalabis reflects all the others. Which is funny because he is actually the most Czech of the three."


Cembalový virtuos Esfahani: Život v Praze mi pomohl soustředit se na skutečné umění