Studying Bach's Goldberg Variations

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janeeliotgardiner wrote:

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

Are you allowed to transpose the BACH motif? Does it still count, if you do that? 

If so, it might be there in a more disguised form........

Well, I looked for that too, but didn't see it. Ultimately if any transposition is allowed, and anywhere in or between phrases, I suspect the motif could occur just by chance.  Kenyon asks rhetorically if Bach is making a personal statement here.  My feel is  - not.

 

Chris A.Gnostic

I think you are right.

I think you are right. Perhaps we should drop Sir Kenyon a line. He has a twitter account.........

 

 

 

 

Jane: Are you allowed to transpose the BACH motif? Does it still count, if you do that? If so, it might be there in a more disguised form........

 

 

Chris: Well, I looked for that too, but didn't see it. Ultimately if any transposition is allowed, and anywhere in or between phrases, I suspect the motif could occur just by chance.  

 

I can’t help but think that the same applies to the theme.  That 8 note basic theme - who wrote it? Some say Handel, some say Muffat, some even say Bach.  But what is an 8-note theme. How many notes have to change before it is another composer’s work?  All these arguments came up earlier with the walking basses in the early Venetian operas.  The scholars, the musicologists, argue that some work by X was actually composed by Y because it shares Y’s walking bass. But like some of the numerology associated with Bach’s music, chance iseems to me just as likely a candidate for the likeness. All good fun for the scholars but would Bach have cared?  Would any composer lay prior claim to it? In any case we remember its 8 bars only because of the magnificent edifice erected upon it by Mr Bach.

 

So I suppose we should continue variation by variation. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Tonight I want to listen to something completely different! Suggestions?

 

Chris

Chris A.Gnostic

How about Strauss' Four Last

How about Strauss' Four Last Songs? I was listening to them this morning, performed by Eschenbach (Houston) and Rene Fleming. It is on Spotify. The sound Eschenbach gets from the orchestra is just mouth-wateringly gorgeous. 

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

How about Strauss' Four Last Songs? I was listening to them this morning, performed by Eschenbach (Houston) and Rene Fleming. It is on Spotify. The sound Eschenbach gets from the orchestra is just mouth-wateringly gorgeous. 

Not such a bad idea Jane!  Actually, I have that CD and it also has one of my favourite Strauss songs on it - Befreit.  I've got it down off the shelf ready!

Good night (Greek time)

Chris

Chris A.Gnostic

I Came a bit late. I had

I Came a bit late. I had another idea for you Chris

Stravinsky's Les Noces to warm you up. Continue with Ligeti's Requiem and finally treat yourself to Schnittke’s third string quartet. After that you’ll be ready to get back to the Goldbergs….

BWV 989 (Alla Maniera Italiana).

I also came late after a busy weekend, so I think I have to respond to different posts separetaly, since quite a few issues have come up.

I cannot possibly see how the "Noces", Ligeti and Schnittke in general can lead back to Bach in general and more specifically to the Goldbergs, but, of course, anything is a matter of perception.

If I may propose for Monday's evening (we are far ahead here), I may suggest a much more related listening to the Goldberg Variations, namely the BWV989, the Aria Variata, in the more interesting key of a minor (and perhaps one Chorale Partita). The interesting thing with the BWV989 starts with the title vis a vis the BWV988, i.e. Aria Variata versus Aria with diverse variations..., while also in the BWV989 the harmony of the theme constitutes the actual basis of the (only 10) variations.

As a true loyal of Bach, Chris, you may revisit this less ambitious but solemn and inward-looking work of fine keyboard writing by the master composer.

Parla

Apart from NIkolayeva...

Yes, it was me who suggested Nikolayeva, among other notable recordings (post #95 in the other thread for the Goldbergs I initiated).

Now that you have experienced Nikolayeva (another "high priestess" of Bach), you may try a young(er) and more contemporary great Russian female pianist, namely Ekaterina Derszhavina, who made a very fine recording of the work, when she was only 28, in the now defunct Arte Nova. The CD is still available on line, but mostly in used copies or new at more expensive prices. I hope it can be found in the streaming services.

Sticking to the Great Pianists of Russia who have honoured the Goldberg, try the superb Sokolov (on Melodiya) and/or the exceptional talent of Koroliov (on Hanssler, originally, or Grand Piano, now), if they are available in the streaming services you rely upon (the discs are available at mid-price).

Finally, for the harpsichord, the instrument for which the work was written and it glorifies, for now try, in any way, at least one of the Pierre Hantai's recordings (1993, on Opus 111, and 2003, on Mirare). 

Parla

Last night's listening.

Yes, thank you Jane, the Four Last Songs was an excellent suggestion for 'something quite different' for late night listening.  I'd forgotten how good that recording was too.  My favourite over many years has been the old Lisa della Case/Bohm recording, but Fleming is superb too and, as you say, it is a beautiful recording.

Camaron, as you predicted your suggestions arrived too late, but though I love Les Noces, I'm not sure I'd choose it for late evening listening. And it needs to be played quite loud! As it happens I'd listened to the work a couple of weeks ago in Stravinsky's own recording - one with an amazing (unexpected) quartet of pianists; Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss and Roger Sessions!  I don't know the other two works though I remember your enthusiasm for Schnittke's third Quartet. I know the fourth and have a recording with the Alban Berg Quartet.  Very fine, but I wouldn't say melodious.  Perhaps the Third is different

 

Well Parla, I was looking for something quite different after a serious bout of Goldberg study!  Yes, I know the Aria and Variations you mention (Tureck liked this work and recorded it at least twice). I think that it and the Chorale Partitas (for organ), which I also know, are all early works. Perhaps a comparison of the two arias might be rewarding.  I'll take a look.

Who is going to start a discussion on the next three Goldberg Variations?

Chris

Chris A.Gnostic

Busy again today.........

Busy again today..........will have more time this evening. Will happily write a bit about variation 4.

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