J.S Bach - Goldberg Variations: Aria - (Glenn Gould)





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Published on Feb 18, 2010

The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, are a set of an aria and 30 variations for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach. First published in 1741 as the fourth in a series Bach called Clavier-Übung, "keyboard exercise", the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. It is named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer.

The aria is a sarabande in 3/4 time, and features a heavily ornamented melody.

The French style of ornamentation suggests that the ornaments are supposed to be parts of the melody, however some performers (for example Wilhelm Kempff on piano) omit some or all ornaments and present the aria unadorned.

Peter Williams comments in Bach: The Goldberg Variations that this is not the theme at all, but actually the first variation (a view emphasising the idea of the work as a chaconne rather than a piece in true variation form).

Glenn Gould playing the aria from Bachs Goldberg Variations... does it get any better?

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