Stepan Simonian opened the new season of the C. Bechstein Piano Evenings in the Konzerthaus Berlin on 11th September 2020. After the last three concerts there had to be canceled due to the corona pandemic, this was a successful restart and a wonderful evening at the same time!
In his 70-minute recital without a break, Simonian placed Bach's Goldberg Variations at the center of his program, framed by Bach's Fantasy and Fugue in G minor in Franz Liszt's Transcription and by Liszt's Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H. Simonian, professor for piano at the Hamburg University of Music, played these works with great structural clarity and singing quality and elicited wonderful orchestral colors from the C. Bechstein concert grand D 282, especially in Liszt's arrangements. The audience in the hall, which was sold out, but only a quarter full due to the current distance rules, thanked the artist with loud applause.
The two transcriptions can also be found on Simonian's new CD “All Around Bach”, which the AvI Music label is releasing these days (CD 8553026). In the recording, Simonian combined Bach's Italian Concerto with Bach's Concerto BWV 979 based on Vivaldi's Violin Concerto as well as transcriptions by Liszt and Busoni on works by Bach. The whole thing is complemented by César Franck's Prelude, Fugue et Variations in an arrangement for saxophone and piano. Congratulations on this excellent Bechstein recording!