Harmonia Early Music

Bach’s Goldberg Variations Reinterpreted

This week, a fresh look at Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

Bach

Photo: Wally Gobetz (Flickr)

A statue of Johan Sebastian Bach at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, Oakland.

Many would perceive Johann Sebastian Bach’s music as timeless, but a recent CD adds authority to this belief. Thirteen contemporary composers have written pieces for piano inspired by the “Aria” from Bach’s Goldberg Variations. While the original tune is not always recognizable, each composer’s interpretation is unique and demonstrates how different people can interpret the same music.
Let’s listen to parts of Chasing Goldberg by Fred Lerdahl and Variation on Variation with Variation by Ralf Gothoni all performed by Lara Downes on the CD 13 Ways of looking at the Goldberg.

Music Heard On This Episode

Johann Sebastian Bach: "Aria" from Goldberg Variations
Lara Downes, piano — 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg (Tritone Records, 2011)
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album cover
Johann Sebastian Bach: "Aria" from Goldberg Variations
Lara Downes, piano — 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg (Tritone Records, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Fred Lerdahl: Chasing Goldberg
Lara Downes, piano — 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg (Tritone Records, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Ralf Gothoni: Variation on Variation with Variation
Lara Downes, piano — 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg (Tritone Records, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anna Pranger

Anna Pranger moved to Bloomington in 2009 to pursue a degree in music librarianship. Before this, she worked on a degree in music history at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She serves as both an assistant producer for Harmonia and the Music Library Assistant for WFIU.

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