Here we have a cohesive, effective, taut programme of 20th-century harpsichord works that builds surely in density, complexity and philosophical provocation as it proceeds. In terms of programming, it’s a winner … there’s a lot here to get your teeth into.
Gramophone, August 2020 - on his CD "Musique?", published on 3 July 2020
Mahan Esfahani—he’s just such an amazing force and a polemicist for the harpsichord … because although he’s brilliant at Bach he refuses to let the harpsichord remain in an ‘Early Music’ box, and he’s a great commissioner and performer of new music … really good recorded sound as well … it’s brilliantly done.
BBC Record Review, July 2020 - on his CD "Musique?", published on 3 July 2020
The adventurous harpsichord champion Mahan Esfahani has, for the first time, devoted an entire album to music of our time. To further stretch the boundaries of the known, three of the six compositions also contain an electronic component, often based on the harpsichord sound itself. ... Esfahani's compatriot, Iranian Anahita Abbasi, shows herself a composer with guts in the two-year-old Intertwined Distances. Alienating buzzing sounds and furious keyboard fists interspersed with gossamer string playing create a theatrical listening experience.
Frits van der Waa, de Volkskrant, 15 July 2020
Esfahani’s playing feels free and spontaneous without losing the underlying pulse of the music. The toccatas display their brilliance proudly. One can imagine the young Bach showing off his prowess just like this. - Richard Fairman, The Financial Times, about his CD "The Toccatas, Hyperion (CDA68244)"
He plays through the work with almost improvisatory freedom, in addition to formidable technique. The fast, hair-raising virtuoso variations that require crossing hands sound, in his interpretation, with outstanding clarity. - Bergens Tidende, May 2019
The real kick-ass moments came … in Mahan Esfahani’s anarchic solo harpsichord programme, where the delicate instrument of Bach and Couperin – especially in George Lewis’ Timelike Weave – became a liberated voice of rebellion. - Ken Walton, The Scotsman, May 2019
Now he emerges as a superstar whose musicianship, imagination, virtuosity, cultural breadth and charisma far transcends the ivory tower in which the harpsichord has traditionally been placed. - Record Review / Richard Morrison, The Times (London), 08. May 2015
Excellent performance of five Scarlatti sonatas, beginning with an elegant rendition of the Sonata in F minor (K. 462). Mr. Esfahani demonstrated impressive technique during the Sonata in G (K. 124) and again during
the rapid-fire Sonata in D minor (K. 141). - Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, Arpil 2012
Esfahani´s playing is colourful and magnetic, the fingerwork in the more virtuoso works absolutely clean and articulate. - Phillip Kennicott, Gramophone
It would be hard not to be impressed by Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani . . . always insightful and, above all, visceral. - Kate Molleson, The Guardian, July 2012