10 February 2023
By Ellie Palmer
The Icelandic pianist filmed the music video for his new recording of 'Ave María' in the middle of the Icelandic countryside – and the results are breathtaking
Filmed on the remote island of Engey, just off the coast of Reykjavík, Iceland, Víkingur Ólafsson plays a rendition of his compatriot Sigvaldi Kaldalóns’ "Ave María" that is guaranteed to have you awe-struck.
Sat at his open piano Ólafsson – who appeared on the cover of Pianist 116 – is surrounded by the rugged landscape of Engey, with a stretch of water separating him from the distant city of Reykjavík. It really is a must-watch.
“It’s a song very often played at the darkest moments in our lives, to give hope and to bring light," he comments. "I’m so happy to see that the message of this' Ave María' is universal."
It certainly wasn't easy to transport the piano to a remote island off the coast of Reykjavík. In a behind-the-scenes video of the process, Ólafsson and his team can be seen taking a helicopter across to the island from the mainland. The helicopter then had to fly back and pick up the piano, which hung from the helicopter right over the water. Certainly a heart-in-mouth moment!
The director and producer of the video give some fascinating insight into the process below.
Víkingur Ólafsson stars on the cover of Pianist 116. You can read his exclusive interview inside, here.
"Ave María" is taken from his 2022 album From Afar, released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. You can listen to the album below.