Goldberg Variations — A Cosmic Journey

Don Bosco Basel
Friday, 17 November

The “Aria with Different Variations for Harpsichord with two Manuals” by Johann Sebastian Bach, first published in 1741 and popularly known as “Goldberg Variations,” forms the fourth and final part of a set of “piano exercises.” According to Forkel, Bach's aria was written with various changes for the Russian envoy to the Dresden court, Count Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk, a friend of the Bach family, who often was ill and had sleepless nights. According to legend, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, a highly gifted student of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and harpsichordist of Johann Sebastian Bach, was supposed to play this music filled with peace and serenity for the Count during the long hours of his insomnia. It is one of Bach’s great works with an architectural construction, cryptic, and of great depth, consisting of an aria and 30 variations. Every third of these is a canon in increasing vocal intervals, from the unison to the ninth, which ultimately culminate in a quodlibet. The quodlibet itself is a compilation of folk songs that the Bach family used for their family celebrations. In this concert, the “Goldberg Variations” will be played by pianist Ruth Lluis and will be accompanied by visual projections created by Reinaldo Verde to illustrate Bach’s intent with his piece.
Tickets are CHF 30 (CHF 20 reduced).


Don Bosco Basel
Waldenburgerstrasse 34
4052 Basel

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