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MP3 Andreas Almqvist - Goldberg Variations

J.S Bach´s Goldberg Variations transcribed for the guitar. Originally written for the harpsichord. Here masterly performed on one guitar .

32 MP3 Songs in this album (56:15) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Bach, CLASSICAL: Baroque

In 1742 Balthasar Schmid in Nürnberg published a piece of music with the title “Keyboard-practice consisting of an Aria with different variations for the harpsichord with two manuals. Prepared for the enjoyment of music-lovers by Johann Sebastian Bach, Polish royal and Saxon electoral court-composer, director and choir-master in Leipzig.” The Aria is also found as a saraband in the Notenbüchlein printed in the year 1725. Later on and in these days it is known as the Aria that mark the beginning and also the end of the Goldberg Variations.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was not only a composer and a performer; he was also a teacher of music. He named his work “a keyboard practice” thus stressing the pedagogical dimension of the work. It is easy for us to imagine Bach at the harpsichord playing the aria and demonstrating what can be done with musical matter as he does with the 30 variations. He also mentioned what sort of instrument he recommended for the study and performance of the work - a two-manual harpsichord with a large number of tonal possibilities, a fertile place for the exercise of Bach’s tremendous musical imagination.

We can join this group of admirers by playing his music and learn about Bach’s musical cosmos, its structure and content. The knowledge, interests, and ability of the performer also form this process.

On this record Andreas Almqvist has chosen to study the Goldberg Variations from the horizon of a guitarist. A guitar is different from a harpsichord or any other instrument. The guitar has its own demands. This means that the performer necessarily must try to bring the several preconditions into the personal unit his musical taste demands. With sensibility and great knowledge he gives us his version of the Aria with variations.

Göran Sörbom,
professor emeritus in Aesthetics at Uppsala University

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