‘Is it a coded message, an exercise in numerology. Is it a glorious attempt to marry old and new, or is it a nocturnal, private, fanciful tale?’ Russian-born Pavel Kolesnikov asked these questions and more when he took up the challenge of deciphering one of the undeniable peaks of the piano repertoire, Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ Variations. And, going by the judgement of The Guardian, which declared that Kolesnikov’s recent recording of the work ‘stands alone’ – the Russian-born pianist has found some answers. Bach’s beguiling sequence of a gentle Aria followed by 30 miniature variations was designed ‘for the refreshment of the spirits’, a mindful mix from the 18th century.

Pavel Kolesnikov © Eva Vermandel

Our regular contributor Yulia Chaplina met with Pavel to talk about his upcoming solo concert, please watch the interview and join Pavel for the concert this Friday, 10 September.