Former organ scholar Parker Ramsay has released a new recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations on the College's record label. Recorded in the Chapel, Parker performs the work on the harp, in his own new transcription. In a recent article for the New York Times, Parker explained that the record was, in part, a statement about the harp:
“I wanted to show the world that the harp is an instrument of beauty, sincerity and transcendence, standing alongside the keyboards and string instruments as a worthy vehicle for the music of J S Bach.”
Further afield, the recording has already received excellent reviews, with the US classical radio station WQXR describing the "radiant" music as "relentlessly beautiful" and the UK's Independent describing it a "resounding success".
Pullitzer-prize winning music critic Tim Page has been impressed too:
“Transcribing music from one instrument to another is a challenge, and it doesn’t usually work very well. But then there’s Bach, whose work permits re-arrangement of all kinds so long as his musical structures remain intact. [Parker Ramsay’s new recording] is both brainy and beautiful, its easy-on-the-ear timbres stimulating, paradoxically, an even more intense analysis than usual.”
Parker's new recording is released on 18 September on the King's College label, available to stream, download, and to buy on CD: