But we have no specific record of any public performances of the work essentially until the late 19th and the 20th centuries.". There is a wonderful effect at the very end: the hands move away from each other, with the right suspended in mid-air on an open fifth. "He primarily would have enjoyed knowing that more than 200 years after the work originated, it was performed by modern musicians for modern audiences," Wolff says. One line "[7], This is a dance-like three-part variation in 38 time. The third variation is the first of the nine canons that form the through-line for the Goldberg Variations. This is the first of the three variations in G minor, and its melancholic mood contrasts sharply with the playfulness of the previous variation. a 1 Clav. This music is in the public domain. All the variations are in G major, apart from variations 15, 21, and 25, which are in G minor. Variatio 11. a 2 Clav. Most bars feature either a distinctive pattern of eleven sixteenth notes and a sixteenth rest, or ten sixteenth notes and a single eighth note. The variation is in 68 meter, suggesting several possible Baroque dances. At the time, the piece was considered esoteric and a risky choice for a debut recording. This image is hereby released into the public domain by Opus33. The bass line is a full participant in the drama, imitating the sighs and wide intervals of the upper voices. The time signature of 128 and the many sets of triplets suggest a kind of a simple dance. a 1 Clav. Thirty variations, framed by the aria on which bass line is being varied: the aria opens and closes the set. And Bach thought that 'This is a wonderful idea to have many variations on such a promising ground bass. The Goldberg s 30 variations, framed by the Aria theme, are not elaborations on a tune as one normally would expect, but are variations on the bass line or harmonic progression that underlies the Aria theme. Canone all’Unisono. At the end of the thirty variations, Bach writes Aria da Capo e fine, meaning that the performer is to return to the beginning ("da capo") and play the aria again before concluding. Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid. This is another two-part hand-crossing variation, in 34 time. Wanda Landowska famously described this variation as "the black pearl" of the Goldberg Variations. (Repeats omitted.) Peter Williams sees echoes of Antonio Vivaldi and Domenico Scarlatti here. This repeated note motif also appears in the first bar of the second section (bar 17, two Ds and a C), and, slightly altered, in bars 22 and 23. In sharp contrast with the introspective and passionate nature of the previous variation, this piece is another virtuosic two-part toccata, joyous and fast-paced. The so-called Goldberg-Variationen by Johann Sebastian Bach constitute one of the absolute masterpieces of keyboard literature, one of the summits of keyboard technique, and a challenge for all performers tackling it as well as for all listeners venturing through this cycle for the first time. The melody is written out predominantly in sixteenth and thirty-second notes, with many chromaticisms. The Italian composer Busoni prepared a greatly altered transcription for piano. Bach, the architect and servant of the spiritual – a closer look at the, Picander's 1728–29 cycle of cantata librettos, Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her", Ueber Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke, Toccata and Fugue in D minor ("Dorian"), BWV 538, Fantasia and Fugue in G minor ("Great"), BWV 542, Prelude and Fugue in E minor ("Wedge"), BWV 548, Eight Short Preludes and Fugues, BWV 553–560, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564, Prelude (Toccata) and Fugue in E major, BWV 566, Fantasia ("Pièce d'Orgue") in G major, BWV 572, Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582, Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her", BWV 769, Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother, Concerto transcriptions, BWV 592–596 and 972–987, List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, List of fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach, List of concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Goldberg_Variations&oldid=997693406, United States National Recording Registry recordings, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2017, Articles with International Music Score Library Project links, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz work identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 2020 [Parker Ramsay] Bach: Goldberg Variations (Arranged for Harp), The dialogue "Aria with Diverse Variations" in the Book, Niemüller, Heinz Hermann (1985). Variation 10 is a four-voice fughettawith a four-bar subject heavily decorated with ornaments and godlberg reminiscent of the opening aria’s melody. The end of the first section features trills again, in both hands now and mirroring one another: The second section starts and closes with the contrary motion idea seen in bars 9–12. Thus, variation 3 is a canon at the unison, variation 6 is a canon at the second (the second entry begins the interval of a second above the first), variation 9 is a canon at the third, and so on until variation 27, which is a canon at the ninth. Saint Petersburg: Planeta Musiki, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 19:51. Bach uses a loose inversion motif between the first half and the second half of this variation, "recycling" rhythmic and melodic material, passing material that was in the right hand to the left hand, and loosely (selectively) inverting it. This is relatively easy to perform on a two-manual harpsichord, but quite difficult to do on a piano. Canone all'Unisuono, Variatio 6. a 1 Clav. Goldberg Variations bass line. She was a pioneer of the harpsichord revival who went on to teach in Berlin, Paris and the U.S. She made several recordings of the Goldbergs. This gradual fade, leaving us in awe but ready for more, is a fitting end to the first half of the piece. INFED PRESCRIBING INFORMATION PDF . So I think it is a good experience to hear it both ways. Gould's recording is brilliantly fast, precise and transparent. Most of the melody is written out using thirty-second notes, and ornamented with a few appoggiaturas (more frequent in the second section) and a few mordents. Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach's biographer Forkel explains the Quodlibet by invoking a custom observed at Bach family reunions (Bach's relatives were almost all musicians): As soon as they were assembled a chorale was first struck up. Variation 3. Commenting on the structure of the canons of the Goldberg Variations, Glenn Gould cited this variation as the extreme example of "deliberate duality of motivic emphasis ... the canonic voices are called upon to sustain the passacaille role which is capriciously abandoned by the bass." Variation 25 is the third and last variation in G minor; a three-part piece, it is marked adagio in Bach's own copy[11] and is in 34 time. According to the art critic Michael Kimmelman, "Busoni shuffled the variations, skipping some, then added his own rather voluptuous coda to create a three-movement structure; each movement has a distinct, arcing shape, and the whole becomes a more tightly organized drama than the original. This sprightly variation contrasts markedly with the slow, contemplative mood of the aria. : Andante. This kind of bass line would work with just about any melody, which is why I call it "generic". [10] Two time signatures are used, 1816 for the incessant melody written in sixteenth notes and 34 for the accompaniment in quarter and eighth notes; during the last five bars, both hands play in 1816. So instead of eight measures, he turned it into 32 measures. Variation 5. The aria and 30 variations known as the Goldberg Variations reflected Bach's return to his earlier fascination with the clavier and contrapuntal composition. Variations down the Line is a project which will commission 15 new variations based on Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Greco's main site. "[6], This is a canon at the fifth in 24 time. a 1 Clav. Other Goldberg Week guests include pianist Jeremy Denk, whose thoughtful and offbeat sense of humor creeps into his essays, performances and videos; pianist Lara Downes, who looks forward from Bach through the lens of today's composers; Andreas Staier, who takes us on a tour of his high-performance harpsichord; and thoughts from pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. This variation is a slow, gentle and richly decorated sarabande in 34 time. 27, there is a supporting bass line. Variatio 18. Pianist Angela Hewitt notes that there is "a wonderful effect at the very end [of this variation]: the hands move away from each other, with the right suspended in mid-air on an open fifth. Problems listening to this file? Varatio 4. a 1 Clav. 1 and 10. Aria: bass line Different from many other famous Variation cycles (such as, to name one of the most celebrated, Mozart’s Ah vous dirai-je maman), Bach did not use the theme’s melody as the element to be varied, but rather its harmony, its bass line. The digits above the notes indicate the specified chord in the system of figured bass; where digits are separated by comma, they indicate different options taken in different variations. Williams writes that the work's "elusive beauty ... is reinforced by this return to the Aria. Variatio 3. A rapid melodic line written predominantly in sixteenth notes is accompanied by another melody with longer note values, which features very wide leaps: The Italian type of hand-crossing such as is frequently found in the sonatas of Scarlatti is employed here, with one hand constantly moving back and forth between high and low registers while the other hand stays in the middle of the keyboard, playing the fast passages. It begins with the hands chasing one another, as it were: the melodic line, initiated in the left hand with a sharp striking of the G above middle C, and then sliding down from the B one octave above to the F, is offset by the right hand, imitating the left at the same pitch, but a quaver late, for the first three bars, ending with a small flourish in the fourth: This pattern is repeated during bars 5–8, only with the left hand imitating the right one, and the scales are ascending, not descending. harvtxt error: no target: CITEREFWilliams2001 (, For discussion see Williams (2001, 8), who notes that the. The music is constructed symmetrically, beginning with a beautifully tranquil and highly ornamented Aria, the bass line of which fuels the 30 variations that follow. As with all the canons, save the last one in Var. Each section has an alternate ending to be played on the first and second repeat. Each repeated section has alternate endings for the first or second time. But the basic idea is just to provide a foundation. This variation incorporates the rhythmic model of variation 13 (complementary exchange of quarter and sixteenth notes) with variations 1 and 2 (syncopations).[8]. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 2000 CD release of Bach's Goldberg Variations on Discogs. Variatio 14. a 2 Clav. The French style of hand-crossing such as is found in the clavier works of Francois Couperin is employed, with both hands playing at the same part of the keyboard, one above the other. Glenn Gould states that variations 28 and 29 present the only case of "motivic collaboration or extension between successive variations. Specified for two manuals, the piece features hand-crossing. She emphasizes the bass voice better, and the bass line after all is the basis of the variations. Thirty-two movements in all, based on a thirtytwo-note bass line. The soprano voice enters in bar 9, but only keeps the first two bars of the subject intact, changing the rest. That is, they then sang popular songs partly of comic and also partly of indecent content, all mixed together on the spur of the moment. The Goldberg Variations were originally written for harpsichord. Specified for two manuals, it involves rapid hand-crossing. Williams writes that "the beauty and dark passion of this variation make it unquestionably the emotional high point of the work", and Glenn Gould said that "the appearance of this wistful, weary cantilena is a master-stroke of psychology." Goldberg Variations bass line. If Kolesnikov plays a variation’s “A” or “B” section using mostly detaché articulation, you can bet your boots that the lines will be served up legato on the second go-rounds, or that a supporting bass line will take center stage when repeated. Rosalyn Turuck, another great Bach pioneer, recorded the Goldberg Variations many times over, on piano and Harpsichord, live and in the studio.She has her own group of admirers and giving her distinguished scholarly and pianistic career it’s viably justified. The canonic interplay in the upper voices features many suspensions. Moreover, Schulenberg adds that the "numerous short trills and appoggiaturas" preclude too fast a tempo. The time signature of 12/8 and the … The composition consists of 32 discrete parts: an opening aria followed by 30 variations and completed with a coda performance of the opening aria. But Gould's Goldbergs exceeded all expectations, becoming a runaway bestseller and launching Gould's international career. 50+ videos Play all Mix - Bach Goldberg Variations Var 21 YouTube Bach - Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (for string ensemble) - Duration: 59:50. In making his 1981 re-recording of the Goldberg Variations, Glenn Gould considered playing this variation at a slower tempo, in keeping with the tempo of the preceding variation (Variation 16), but ultimately decided not to because "Variation 17 is one of those rather skittish, slightly empty-headed collections of scales and arpeggios which Bach indulged when he wasn't writing sober and proper things like fugues and canons, and it just seemed to me that there wasn't enough substance to it to warrant such a methodical, deliberate, Germanic tempo. ". There was some intellectual delight in hearing music one had previously only read about. Each section has an alternate ending to be played on the first and second repeat. Specified for two manuals, it involves rapid hand-crossing. a 1 Clav. From its apocryphal back story (based on a count's sleepless nights), to its labyrinthine structure, to the breakthrough recording by Glenn Gould, the Goldbergs carry a heavy load of compelling baggage. English: The bass line of Bach's Goldberg Variations, as annotated by Ralph Kirkpatrick. The only specified ornament is a trill which is performed on a whole note and which lasts for two bars (11 and 12). The others remain unknown. There is no regular counter-subject in this fugue. Every third variation in the series of 30 is a canon, following an ascending pattern. info)). Canone all Terza. First the subject is stated in the bass, starting on the G below middle C. The answer (in the tenor) enters in bar 5, but it's a tonal answer, so some of the intervals are altered. Forkel's anecdote (which is likely to be true, given that he was able to interview Bach's sons), suggests fairly clearly that Bach meant the Quodlibet to be a joke. The Variations are named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer. Bach. One possible example is Handel ’s Chaconne in G major with 62 Variations (1733): its eight-bar bass-line is identical to the first eight bars of Bach’s ‘Aria’. There are many gaps in the story after Bach's death in 1750. A passepied (French court dance), this variation is in 3/8 time with some playful syncopation (off-beat rhythm). The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, is a work for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. The music is constructed symmetrically, beginning with a beautifully tranquil and highly ornamented Aria, the bass line of which fuels the 30 variations that follow. a 1 Clav. ", Glenn Gould said of this variation, "It's the most severe and rigorous and beautiful canon ... the most severe and beautiful that I know, the canon in inversion at the fifth. Aria is melodious and has a compelling bass line. Indeed, he notes, the dotted rhythmic pattern of this variation (pictured) is very similar to that of the gigue from Bach's second French suite and the gigue of the French Overture. The set of variations can be seen as being divided into two-halves, clearly marked by this grand French overture, commencing with a particularly emphatic opening and closing chords. The Pleyel harpsichord had an iron frame, which meant that it held the tuning better but had a much thinner sound than wood-framed models from Bach's time. It is in 34 time. She does however argue, like Schulenberg, that it is a French gigue, not an Italian giga and does play it at an unhurried tempo. Throughout the piece, the melody is in one voice, and in bars 16 and 24 an interesting effect is produced by the use of an additional voice. To demonstrate this, here are the first two bars of the first section: The second of the three minor key variations, variation 21 has a tone that is somber or even tragic, which contrasts starkly with variation 20. Watch it now. Explore our masterpiece guide to Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ featuring Lang Lang’s studio and live recordings of the monumental work. In an interview with Gould, Tim Page described this variation as having an "extraordinary chromatic texture"; Gould agreed: "I don't think there's been a richer lode of enharmonic relationships any place between Gesualdo and Wagner."[6]. Its melody is made to stand out by what has gone on in the last five variations, and it is likely to appear wistful or nostalgic or subdued or resigned or sad, heard on its repeat as something coming to an end, the same notes but now final. He apparently was a very gifted kid. In 1974, when scholars discovered Bach's own copy of the first printing of the Goldberg Variations, they noted that over this variation Bach had added the heading al tempo di Giga. ", "But I think the origin goes back to an idea Bach got from Handel. The piece begins with a pattern in which each hand successively picks out a melodic line while also playing trills. No, this set of 30 imaginative variations on the “Fundamental Bass” of the Aria that bookends them was not written for the piano, but Perahia’s delicacy of touch, subtle use of dynamic shadings, clarity of line in the canons and Fughetta, and effortless virtuosity demonstrate that the anachronistic instrument doesn’t have to overpower the music within the notes. Her style, however, hasn’t met the test of time well, taking into account the knowledge of Bach performances we have from past decades. The melody of the Aria with which the work opens and closes is never repeated within the thirty variations. 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