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Bach: Goldberg Variations in G Major

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices

ID:109
Johann Sebastian Bach :
Goldberg Variations
Goldberg Variations   in G Major by Bach piano sheet music
Key: G Major Year: 1741
Level: 8+ Period: Baroque
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score
Recordings in Naxos Music Library


The relentlessly intricate architecture of the Goldberg Variations still engage scholars after hundreds of years, while the soothing, noble poetry and formidable technical demands of the piece continue to captivate players and listeners.

A number of legendary performances of this monumental work have been recorded on piano as well as on harpsichord and organ - two of the most popular and highly regarded ones were recorded on the piano by Glenn Gould in 1955 and 1981.

Bach wrote the work with a two-manual harpsichord in mind, which makes the challenge for the pianist even greater – the many hand-crossings, possibly inspired by Scarlatti's keyboard music, is much easier to perform on two manuals.

Johann Nicolaus Forkel wrote in his Bach biography (1802) that the Variations had been commissioned by the Russian Ambassador to Saxony Count Kaiserling, who suffered from insomnia. Goldberg was a young musician, who according to Forkel's (probably spurious) version of events, was supposed to play from the Variations during the Count's sleepless nights to cheer him up a little.

Rather than just varying the melody of the Aria, the thirty variations are built upon its bass line. Every third variation is a canon at increasing intervals, except the final, thirtieth variation, a so-called quodlibet, mixing a number of popular tunes - including one that goes "Cabbage and turnips have driven me away, had my mother cooked meat, I'd have opted to stay". After this the heavenly Aria with its elusive beauty returns to close the work.

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Piano sheet music and recordings. This piece is by Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations in G Major (published in 1741) . Level 8+, Period: Baroque

Goldberg Variations in G Major, by the baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. This piano piece was initially published in the year 1741 and is included in Miscellaneous pieces by Bach.
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