Here are the 30 Variations that are together known as Goldberg Variations. Variation 5. But the basic idea is just to provide a foundation. It resembles a counter-exposition: the voices enter one by one, all begin by stating the subject (sometimes a bit altered, like in the first section). Kahane and the Calidore played the bass line that is the subject for the variations, then played a handful of Bach’s “puzzle” canons found at the back of an original score of the Goldbergs that turned up in the mid-1970s. And join us this Friday, Mar. As with all the canons, save the last one in Var. But it’s a question of degree, style, taste. 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." She emphasizes the bass voice better, and the bass line after all is the basis of the variations. This variation is a slow, gentle and richly decorated sarabande in 34 time. Pianist Rudolf Serkin took up the Goldberg Variations in the late 1920s, but Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska was the first to record the Goldbergs in the early 1930s. Every third variation in the series of 30 is a canon, following an ascending pattern. info)). bass line. This series aims to make Bach's Goldberg Variations more comfortable to play on piano. Join the conversation this week in the comments sections of our stories, also on Facebook and Twitter @ #NPRGoldberg. The sixth variation is a canon at the second: the follower starts a major second higher than the leader. a 1 Clav. Wolff says it was the final work in a much larger endeavor: "This is the capstone of a publication project which is called in German Clavier-Übung — in English perhaps best translated as Keyboard Practice — where he wanted to show what was possible at the keyboard in terms of technical development, technical, virtuosic finesse and compositional sophistication.". Bach-Gesellschaft AusgabeBand 3 Leipzig: Bass Line Goldberg Variations bass line. English: The bass line of Bach's Goldberg Variations, as annotated by Ralph Kirkpatrick. Heinz Niemüller also mentions the polonaise character of this variation. It is in 34 time and usually played at a moderately fast tempo. The final entry occurs in the alto in bar 13. This gradual fade, leaving us in awe but ready for more, is a fitting end to the first half of the piece. He ignores Bach's repeat markings in the score, which shrinks the total time of the Goldbergs to less than 39 minutes, neatly fitting on two sides of an LP. Canone all’Unisono. In the first two bars of the B part, the rhythm mirrors that of the beginning of the A part, but after this a different idea is introduced. Although Bach published the Goldberg Variations around 1741, Wolff says he apparently came up with the opening Aria some years earlier. 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’. Variation 10 is a four-voice fughettawith a four-bar subject heavily decorated with ornaments and godlberg reminiscent of the opening aria’s melody. BachHarmony 1,007,803 views Digital image of the notes made with Sibelius 4 by Opus33. 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. A rather grand variation, it adds an air of resolution after the lofty brilliance of the previous variation. Handel, in 1733, published an aria with 64 variations. The Goldberg Variations belong to Bach’s late period, in which the composer pushes the boundaries of musical themes in a play of variations, canons and fugues. With his Armani suits, love of playing to the gallery and adoration for flashy piano showpieces, Lang Lang might seem absolutely the last person who should touch this lofty piece. The pianist Angela Hewitt, in the liner notes to her 1999 Hyperion recording, argues that by adding the al tempo di giga notation, Bach was trying to caution against taking too slow a tempo, and thus turning the dance into a forlane or siciliano. All the variations are in G major, apart from variations 15, 21, and 25, which are in G minor. Both features (ornaments and leaps in the melody) are apparent from the first bar: the piece begins with a transition from the G two octaves below middle C, with a lower mordent, to the G two octaves above it with a trill with initial turn. This is another two-part hand-crossing variation, in 34 time. Williams sees this as a sort of polonaise. Fughetta. At the time, the piece was considered esoteric and a risky choice for a debut recording. In the second of three G minor variations—No 21, a canon at the seventh—Bach heightens the poignancy with new chromatic inflections and a bass line that descends by semitones, a traditional Baroque emblem of lamentation and death (a famous example is ‘Dido’s lament’ in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas). The Goldberg Variations have gained monolithic prominence as the only work of Bachs oeuvre in this genre. This sprightly variation contrasts markedly with the slow, contemplative mood of the aria. The news that the world’s most famous and bankable classical pianist Lang Lang has turned his attention to Bach’s Goldberg Variations has raised a few eyebrows. The aria and 30 variations known as the Goldberg Variations reflected Bach's return to his earlier fascination with the clavier and contrapuntal composition. This kind of bass line would work with just about any melody, which is why I call it "generic". Landowska played an instrument far from what Bach would have recognized. Variation 4. One line Variatio 6. The variations are based on the same Aria bass, but it's only eight measures long. 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. The number of bars of the Aria -32- is equal to the number of the music piece which constitute the whole tune. "After this Glenn Gould recording," Wolff says, "the Goldberg Variations really had become a household word.". As far as Gould's recording being on the modern day piano, Wolff believes that it may not have mattered to Bach, as he was interested in new sonorities all his life. It's a piece so moving, so anguished—and so uplifting at the same time—that it would not be in any way out of place in the St. Matthew's Passion; matter of fact, I've always thought of Variation 15 as the perfect Good Friday spell.". Variation 25 is the third and last variation in G minor; a three-part piece, it is marked adagio in Bach's own copy and is in 34 time. The entire bass line of the Goldberg Variations can be reduced to the following outline/framework which forms the harmonic basis for all 31 mvts. It may have even been Bach's way of saying "I can do much better than you.". For this composition, he started from a simple and quiet melody, joined with an underlying bass line, which steadily unfolds into a musical cosmos that reveals itself with extraordinary variety and unparalleled complexity. Each section has an alternate ending to be played on the first and second repeat. He was a student of Bach's son, Wilhelm Friedemann in Dresden, but he also took lessons with J.S. But we have no specific record of any public performances of the work essentially until the late 19th and the 20th centuries.". Her late 19th-century harpsichord, Wolff says, was made with Steinway technology. Composed in 1741, Bach’s Goldberg Variations for solo harpsichord begin and end with an intimate “Aria,” whose bass line serves as the structural inspiration for the 28 variations in between. But the implications of this discovery for modern performance have turned out to be less clear than was at first assumed. Legend has it that Bach wrote the music to soothe the sleepless nights of one Count Kaiserling, who asked his private harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, to perform the variations. The Italian composer Busoni prepared a greatly altered transcription for piano. This is the first of the “arabesques”: hand-crossing, two-part variations. New to Bach's delightfully intricate and huge keyboard piece? ", This is a canon at the fifth in 24 time. This is a canon at the fourth in 34 time, of the inverted variety: the follower enters in the second bar in contrary motion to the leader. 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. The first of the regular canons, this is a canon at the unison: the follower begins on the same note as the leader, a bar later. When Bach wrote the variations, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg was 13 years of age. : Andante Variatio 16. This variation is a two-part toccata in 34 time that employs a great deal of hand crossing.  The bass line begins the piece with a low note, proceeds to a slow lament bass and only picks up the pace of the canonic voices in bar 3: A similar pattern, only a bit more lively, occurs in the bass line in the beginning of the second section, which begins with the opening motif inverted. 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. It is in 34 time. In his book The Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach the scholar and keyboardist David Schulenberg notes that the discovery "surprised twentieth-century commentators who supposed gigues were always fast and fleeting." Varatio 7. a 1 o vero 2 Clav. Variatio 14. a 2 Clav. Variatio 24. I think there is no aesthetic difference between the two. See media help. The characteristic rhythm in the left hand is also found in Bach's Partita No. Read on for a brief Goldberg Variations FAQ, with comments from Professor Wolff. harvtxt error: no target: CITEREFWilliams2001 (, For discussion see Williams (2001, 8), who notes that the. Goldberg Variations by J.S. So I think it is a good experience to hear it both ways. Variation 4. Specified for two manuals, it involves rapid hand-crossing. The second section starts with this similar alternation in short bursts again, then leads to a dramatic section of alternating thirds between hands. What Would Bach Think Of Gould's recording? Throughout the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth century, these… Wanda Landowska famously described this variation as "the black pearl" of the Goldberg Variations. The only specified ornament is a trill which is performed on a whole note and which lasts for two bars (11 and 12). ... no such return can have a neutral Affekt. There are also similarities with several of the Goldberg Variations, notably the third and thirteenth, with shared motifs, keyboard technique and general structure. We then alternate between hands in short bursts written out in short note values until the last three bars of the first section. 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). The Aria is now presented with heavy ornamentation or with the same tone as Bach intended it to be. This music is in the public domain. The Goldberg Variations begin with an aria, but the variations follow a different melody based on its chord progression and bass line. In 1955, at age 22, Canadian pianist Glenn Gould signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and recorded the Goldberg Variations. 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 … The leader is answered both an octave below and an octave above; it is the only canon of the variations in which the leader alternates between voices in the middle of a section. Canone alla Quinta. Varatio 4. a 1 Clav. Following this is a section with both hands playing in contrary motion in a melodic contour marked by sixteenth notes (bars 9–12). Techncally speaking, Pavel Kolesnikov plays Bach’s Goldberg Variations impeccably. 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. This kind of gigue is known as a "Canary", based on the rhythm of a dance which originated from the Canary islands. Variatio 7. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. Every third variation in the series of 30 is a canon, following an ascending pattern. , The Goldberg Variations have been reworked freely by many performers, changing either the instrumentation, the notes, or both. The rhythm in the right hand forces the emphasis on the second beat, giving rise to syncopation from bars 1 to 7. 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. Five composers are being commissioned to each write three variations using the chords, bass line and other compositional ideas from Bach’s Goldberg variations. 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. In “Goldberg Variations,” Bach masterfully encapsulates human existence in a way that has resonated with audiences for generations but proves perhaps even more chilling in today’s fractured society. There is good voice leading and transparency, though, and as always with Lang, a showmanship in the fast variations – not a bad thing when you consider how difficult these variations are. Like some earlier sets of variations, the Goldbergs are based not on a melodic theme but a bass line. ... which are all built upon the original bass line. The third variation is the first of the nine canons that form the through-line for the Goldberg Variations. Goldberg Variations: No. a 1 Clav. Gould would record the Goldbergs again in 1981 with a vastly different, less flashy approach. He apparently was a very gifted kid. Bach-Gesellschaft AusgabeBand 3 Leipzig: Bass Line Goldberg Variations bass line. This variation consists mostly of heavy chords alternating with sections of brilliant arpeggios shared between the hands. 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. Canone all'Unisono. ", Bach turned his set of 30 variations into a deeper, much more sophisticated showpiece that Handel's.  Among those canons, the eleventh and the thirteenth are first versions of BWV 1077 and BWV 1076; the latter is included in the famous portrait of Bach painted by Elias Gottlob Haussmann in 1746. 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. But Gould's Goldbergs exceeded all expectations, becoming a runaway bestseller and launching Gould's international career. The second section develops using the same thematic material with slight changes. Goldberg-Variationen Basslinie. Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations has become an iconic monument in Western music. 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. Specified for two manuals, it is largely made up of various scale passages, arpeggios and trills, and features much hand-crossing of different kinds. Varatio 5. a 1 o vero 2 Clav. The fast tempos that the pianist generally favors pose no problems, and you have to respect the utter clarity and control of his fingerwork, as well as the playful ornaments and shifts and balances. 1 and 10. Who were some of the first Goldberg champions? Variatio 15. The melody of the Aria with which the work opens and closes is never repeated within the thirty variations. 3 for solo violin, in the A♭ major prelude from the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier, and in the D minor prelude of the second book. Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid. American Record Guide review of CD-77005 (PDF document) American Record Guide, Jan. 2010. Do not listen for that exquisite tune in the variations, however. a 1 Clav. Variatio 12. a 1 Clav. INFED PRESCRIBING INFORMATION PDF . This image is hereby released into the public domain by Opus33. 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. 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. 3 (Canone all’Unisono) The third variation is the first of the nine canons that form the through-line for the Goldberg Variations. Varatio 10. Classical music also has its generic and composed bass lines. Bach uses close but not exact imitation: the musical pattern in one part reappears a bar later in another (sometimes inverted). Around 1741, Bach published a long and complicated keyboard piece, calling it Aria with diverse variations for a harpsichord with two manuals (keyboards). The time signature of 128 and the many sets of triplets suggest a kind of a simple dance. ".  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. Finally, as encore, the Aria from the Goldberg Variations, perhaps still the piece most associated with Schiff, left us hoping for better times with a foundation as solid as that of its ever-resilient bass line. Her style, however, hasn’t met the test of time well, taking into account the knowledge of Bach performances we have from past decades. What are the Goldberg Variations? In the case of the earlier harpsichord work, however, the variations are written over a fixed bass line, while BWV 769 is based on a melody. Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord) The variation is in 68 meter, suggesting several possible Baroque dances. a 1 Clav. a 1 Clav. The variations are all based on the compelling bass line of the Aria and the Aria itself is repeated at the end of playing the thirty variants. A canone all’unisono (canon in unison), the variation includes features a supported, ground bass built around… Read More > There is no regular counter-subject in this fugue. The piece is based on a descending scale and is in 38 time. Variation 3. In modern recordings, you’ll probably hear a 50/50 split between piano recordings, and the more traditional harpsichord recordings. A canone all’unisono (canon in unison), the variation includes features a supported, ground bass built around a simple dance rhythm. The canonic interplay in the upper voices features many suspensions. The supporting bass line is slightly more active than in the previous canons. This kind of bass line would be suitable for a polka or any kind of traditional dance. The variations develop not so much from the first melody as its bass line and chord progression. Variatio 1. a 1 Clav. This is an amazingly strong interpretation, and the best that I have heard. Also look for our official interactive "Goldberg Puzzler" and lists of great Goldbergs, and Goldbergs in costume. Please, please make a donation upon watching this streaming. 27, there is a supporting bass line. The Variations are named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer. Here is a package that satisfies intellectual curiosity and is musically delightful. This gradual fade, leaving us in awe but ready for more, is a fitting end to the first half of the piece. . Aria is melodious and has a compelling bass line. Trills are written out using thirty-second notes and are present in most of the bars. Siehe Hilfe Medien. This is a virtuosic two-part toccata in 1216 time. The news that the world’s most famous and bankable classical pianist Lang Lang has turned his attention to Bach’s Goldberg Variations has raised a few eyebrows. Varatio 2. a 1 Clav. 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. Here are bars 15 and 16, the ending of the first section (bar 24 exhibits a similar pattern): This is a rapid two-part hand-crossing toccata in 34 time, with many trills and other ornamentation. Also common Contrasting it with Variation 15, Glenn Gould described this variation as "certainly one of the giddiest bits of neo-Scarlatti-ism imaginable. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. Problems listening to this file? Varatio 9. A passepied (French court dance), this variation is in 3/8 time with some playful syncopation (off-beat rhythm). This variation is another two-part virtuosic toccata. Wigmore Hall concerts do not grow on trees. "I think they were really, absolutely crucial with respect to making the piece known across Europe, and then also in the United States, as a work for harpsichord, an instrument that was not very well known at the time," Wolff says. ", 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. a 1 Clav. info)). Bach’s Goldberg Variations consists of an aria and 30 dazzling variations. The bass line is notated by Ralph Kirkpatrick in his performing edition as follows. Classical - Instrumental. Nützlich. This variation generally lasts longer than any other piece of the set. "We do not know how widely disseminated the piece was," Wolff says, "but it clearly was printed in at least 100 copies, so it was circulating quite widely. The bass line is notated by Ralph Kirkpatrick in his performing edition as follows. Aria opens and closes the set it may be related to the aria is. 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