Inspired by the exoticism that characterises this harpsichord suite by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Mahan Esfahani gives a performance of the work highlighting the musical clichés that are hidden behind the titles of its different movements. The Iranian-born harpsichordist shows that headings like “L'indifférente”, “La poule”, “Les sauvages” and “L'egyptienne” are not only mere indications of character, but actual programmatic descriptions over which to construct an original performative discourse.
Despite its connection to early music, the harpsichord is an instrument for which many contemporary composers are writing today. According to the contemporary idea, its sonority is often associated with nostalgia and exoticism. This is reflected in both of these works by Graham Lynch and Paul Ben-Haim, the Spanish premieres of which are included in this video.
The work Intertwined Distances for harpsichord and electronic instruments, whose world premiere is included in this video, is the result of the collaboration between the composer Anahita Abbasi and the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, both of Iranian origins. The work experiments with gestures and the perception of the audible, as well as with sound spatiality generated by the positioning of four loud speakers in the concert hall.