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Bach: Goldberg Variations

Bach: Goldberg Variations

Pi-hsien Chen

€ 19.95 Vooruitbestellen

Artiesten & componisten

Johann Sebastian Bach Pi-Hsien Chen

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Type: CD
Label: Phil.Harmonie
EAN: 4250317416063
Catalogusnummer: PHIL 06006
Uitgebracht: 02-22

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'Aria mit verschiedenen Veränderungen vors Clavicimbal mit zwei Manualen denen Liebhabern zur Gemüths Ergetzung verfertigt von Johann Sebastian Bach' is the heading of the cover of the first edition of the composition which today is called 'Goldberg Variationen'. Bach was commissioned to compose them by the Russian envoy to the court in Dresden, Graf Hermann von Kayserling, at the court in Dresden. The earl, suffering from insomnia, had asked for piano pieces of a ‚soft and somewhat merry character'. His private harpsichordist, Johann Theophilus Goldberg, was to play them for him at night to cheer him up.

Bach complied willingly with the earl’s request and created the extensive cycle of an aria with 30 variations. Kayserling was enthusiastic about the music. Bach received a golden goblet containing 100 Louisdor.

This masterpiece begins and ends with an aria with a sarabande character and can already be found in the ‚Klavierbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach‘. As is frequently the case with baroque variation cycles, the variations situated in between are not based on the melody of the aria but rather on its bass and the bass harmonies.

The composition possesses a clearly recognizable structure. Alltogether it consists of ten groups with three variations each. Every third variation is a canon the intervals of which rise from unison to ninth. The two-part division of the entire cycle is marked by a French overture at the beginning of the 16th variation.

Special attention should be paid to the 25th variation, an adagio in g-minor. With its sad and painful expression it ranks among the most profound written by J. S. Bach.

In his last variations Bach decided in favour of an amusing 'Quodlibet' which is characterized by two folksongs. They are artfully added to the bass: 'Kraut und Rüben haben mich vertreiben' und 'Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir gewest: ruck her, ruck her, ruck her. '

After that we hear the initial aria of the beginning again. We have come full circle. Goldberg’s playing for the earl can start once more... Hans-Ludwig Feldgen

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