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24 September 2021
"Hannes Minnaar brings many positive assets to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The pianist clearly enjoys modifying voicings, amplifying textures, and shifting accents on the repeats "Classics Today, 30-11-2021
Hannes Minnaar received international acclaim after winning prizes at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2010, 3rd prize) and the Geneva International Music Competition (2008, 2nd prize) and being awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship (2011). He studied with Jan Wijn at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating with the highest distinction and took master classes with Menahem Pressler and Ferenc Rados. In addition, he studied organ with Jacques van Oortmerssen.
Minnaar was soloist with various orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, during which time he worked with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Jiří Bělohlávek, Herbert Blomstedt, Frans Brüggen, Eliahu Inbal, Edo de Waart and Xian Zhang. He gives recitals in many European countries and around the world. He performed at the Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Musashino Hall (Tokyo) and the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Moscow) and was invited to the festivals of La Roque d’Anthéron, Bordeaux (Jacobins) and Guangzhou.
Minnaar is also active as a chamber musician. As a member of the Van Baerle Trio he won prizes at competitions in Lyon (2011, CIMCL, 1st prize) and Munich (2013, ARD, 2nd prize). The trio gave 18 concerts in an international tour in the “Rising Stars” series in 2014, including the Barbican (London), Musikverein (Vienna) and Cité de la Musique (Paris). Minnaar also performed with musicians such as Janine Jansen, Isabelle van Keulen and Mischa Maisky.
His two solo albums are highly acclaimed. His debut album was awarded an Edison and Gramophone published a full-page article about this album. The same magazine wrote about his second album “Bach inspirations”: “After Minnaar’s debut disc, this makes two hits in a row”. BBC Music Magazine selected it as “Instrumental choice of the month” with 5 stars.
Minnaar is currently recording all of Beethoven’s piano concertos for Challenge Classics. Other future concert highlights include Liszt’s Totentanz and a new concerto by Robert Zuidam with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Markus Stenz – at which occiasion he will be awarded the Dutch Music Prize by the Dutch Minister of Culture – and Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniele Rustioni.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Hannes Minnaar brings many positive assets to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The pianist clearly enjoys modifying voicings, amplifying textures, and shifting accents on the repeats
Classics Today, 30-11-2021
In addition, Hannes Minnaar makes a remarkable effort to give each piece its own style, according to his writing, instead of wanting to unify the sound. Quite a success, in view of the results.
These new Goldbergs leave us under the complex and pregnant charm, almost addictive, that emerges from the interpretation of Hannes Minnaar. (...) Hannes Minnaar succeeds to gain an enviable place on the steps of a podium already well populated.
He plays it brilliantly.....Do I need yet another recording of the Goldbergs in my collection? I didn’t think so. But Minnaar has proven me wrong. Whether you have one too many (or a dozen or so like me) in your collection, this one is worth the listen.
Fanfare magazine, 01-3-2022
An extremely interesting recording that surprises the listener with new details.
Piano News, 01-3-2022
This variation series is a tricky puzzle, but Minnaar knows exactly how the pieces fit together. He is admirably consistent in his playing and makes the variations whirl, trot and shine.
De Volkskrant, 21-12-2021
The main event is much more rewarding than that. It is superb.
American Record Guide, 15-12-2021
He plays with enormous ease and almost the lightness and playfulness of Mozart's piano works. This production deserves a place of honor in the discotheque.
Music Emotion, 15-11-2021
Meanwhile, Hannes Minnaar is far off the mark.....Minnaar articulates sharply and phrases with the nonchalance of a jazz man. Rare, the pianist who mixes so many flavors through his trills, from sober to voluptuous. I will often listen to this beautiful double CD
The sound taken by the Challenge Records technicians is of excellent workmanship: the dynamics are sumptuous, full, capable of unleashing great energy and, at the same time, a convincing naturalness.
Hannes Minnaar has made a beautiful and especially exciting "Goldberg"
In Minnaar's light-hearted approach to this score, nothing stands out that shouldn't be there, nor is there anything to distract from it. The tempi are convincingly embedded, accelerations and decelerations are not an end in themselves, exaggerated agogic accents are omitted (also in the spun-out and only variation in minor: no. 25). Anyone who listens to this rendition with the notation included can only admire Minnaar's meticulousness.
Opus Klassiek, 24-9-2021
The pianist is incredibly consistent in his approach and his tempi; fluctuations are proportional and character differences between the variations are not magnified too much, but serve each other. The perfect trills betray muscular fingers. And taste, of course.
De Volkskrant, 23-9-2021
The consolation of art is palpable in every variation. It is making music without sensationalism and without dogmas, cool and calm. Each of the thirty variations is given a clear profile, although Minnaar eschews extremes in dynamics and phrasing. God lurks in the details and nuance, while his grip on architecture is unmistakable. The richness of sound is remarkable.
The tone is set in the Aria, whose lyrical quality is somewhat lost in the jungle of microrubati. Nevertheless, it is played brilliantly and brilliantly across the board. The encore, Daan Mannekes Gedanken zu Bach, is also very beautiful.
Het Parool, 23-9-2021