J. S. Bach – Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – Gergő Teleki, Una Corda M189




J. S. Bach – Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – Gergő Teleki, Una Corda M189

These recordings are the first in what I hope will be a long running series.

My goal is to find the perfect modern expression of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music by collaborating with the right musicians and providing the right instrument. The musician on this album, Gergő Teleki, was a gracious and willing partner in this experiment. The piano employed probably requires some explanation.

The piano that was used for this album is an upright concert piano known as the Una Corda M189. We designed and built this piano in Autumn of 2018, at our small piano manufacturing workshop in Vác, Hungary. The inspiration for this instrument was tailored specifically to J. S. Bach. I felt that many of his pieces, composed as they were for the more delicate sounding instruments of his time, lost much of their subtlety when played on today’s concert grand pianos, which are built for volume and force.

After listening to various works of Bach played on the Una Corda M189’s smaller cousin, the Una Corda 88, I decided that I wanted to build a special instrument, dedicated to J. S. Bach and his genius works. The result was a massive concert upright piano, nearly two meters tall, with the pianist sitting high off the ground. And yet, with the unique design of the Una Corda M189, it is capable of a gentle expression unlike any piano I have heard.

A year after the pianos was finished, Hungarian pianist Gergő Teleki came into our workshop for a rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The album that came from that is, I believe, are those variations as they have never been heard before.

We would like to invite pianists to Latvia, to conduct recordings of Bach’s compositions for solo keyboard instruments (harpsichord, clavichord, etc.), to eventually record Bach’s entire compositions for solo keyboard.

If you like to listen in, please follow this link.

David Klavins, December 24, 2020