Goldberg Variations

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Title page of the first print

The Goldberg Variations are a work by Johann Sebastian Bach ( BWV  988), which in the first print from 1741, which Bach himself initiated, was described as a keyboard exercise consisting of an ARIA with various changes in front of the clavicimbal with 2 manuals . The name after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg was posthumously based on an anecdote.

The Goldberg Variations represent a high point of the Baroque art of variation . The work is characterized by a well-planned overall structure with regularly inserted, strictly canonical sentences in the upper parts . The common bass theme provides the inner connection between the variations. Every single sentence has its own character. The main key is G major .

Origin and naming

The exact time of creation of the work is unknown. It was engraved and published by Balthasar Schmid (1705–1749) in Nuremberg in autumn 1741. Bach's autograph no longer exists. A hand copy of the first edition that was found in 1975 and found to be perfectly attributable to Bach, which, in addition to small corrections, also contains 14 canons in Bach's handwriting, received great attention .

The name Goldberg Variations (also Goldberg Variations ) did not establish itself until the 19th century. It was formed from an anecdotal account in Johann Nikolaus Forkel's About Johann Sebastian Bach's Life, Art and Artwork from 1802. According to Forkel, Bach's aria was written with various changes for the Russian ambassador to the Dresden court, Count Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk , who was friends with the Bach family . The harpsichordist Johann Gottlieb Goldberg in his service , a highly gifted student of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Johann Sebastian Bach, was supposed to play the Count from it:

“Once the count said against Bach that he would like to have some piano pieces for his Goldberg that were so gentle and somewhat cheerful that they could cheer him up a little on his sleepless nights. Bach believed that he could best fulfill this wish through variations, which he had previously considered to be ungrateful work because of the constant basic harmony. "

This report probably goes back to information provided by the two oldest Bach sons. No other source was found. Two important arguments cast doubt on the veracity of the report: On the one hand, the printed version of the Variations does not contain a dedication, such as a formal dedication to Keyserlingk. On the other hand, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg was only 13 years old in 1740 and was therefore hardly technically capable of adequately handling this demanding work.

Hence the veracity of Forkel's report is controversial. Forkel applied a later, romantic concept of art from the early 19th century to Bach's motifs and the art conception of his era. However, his report does not contradict the opinion that is most commonly held today that the composition was planned from the beginning as part - and the crowning glory - of the piano practice . But even here there is no certainty; because the printing of part IV of the keyboard exercise from 1741 - unlike parts II and III and just like part I from 1731 with its previous publications - was not included in the consecutive numbering of Bach. However, identical formulations on the title pages, which differ only in their spelling, suggest that all keyboard exercises belong together. On the title page of Bach's OPUS 1 it says: Clavir exercise / consisting of / Præludien, Allemanden, Couranten, Sarabanden, Giguen, / Minuets, and other gallantries; / Made for those lovers to indulge their hearts / by / Johann Sebastian Bach [...]

Structure and structure

Sentence headings of the original print (Bach's later additions in his personal copy in brackets)
  • Aria
  • Variatio 1. a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 2nd a 1st clav.
  • Variatio 3rd Canone all Unisuono à 1 clav.
  • Variatio 4th à 1 clav.
  • Variatio 5. a 1 ô vero 2 clav.
  • Variation 6. Canone alla Seconda a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 7th à 1st ô vero 2 clav. (al tempo di Giga)
  • Variatio 8. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 10. Fugetta. a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 11. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 12. Canone alla Quarta.
  • Variatio 13. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 14. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 15th andante. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 16. a 1 clav. Overture
  • Variatio 17th a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 18. Canon alla Sexta. a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 19. à 1 clav.
  • Variatio 20. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 21. Canone alla Settima.
  • Variatio 22. a 1 clav. alla breve
  • Variatio 23. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 24. Canone all Ottava a 1 clav.
  • Variatio 25. a 2 clav. ("adagio")
  • Variatio 26. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 27. Canone alla Nona. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 28. a 2 clav.
  • Variatio 29. a 1 o vero 2 Clav.
  • Variatio 30. a 1 clav. Quodlibet.
  • Aria da Capo è Fine

The introductory aria is followed by 30 variations - divided into two parts - which, however, are hardly based on the melody of the aria, but almost exclusively on its 32-bar bass line . Every third variation contains a canon , with the interval of canonical voices growing steadily. The ascending interval sequence is arranged from the unison through the second, third, fourth, etc. to the ninth.

The 16th variation - an overture - marks the beginning of the second part of the series of variations. The 30th variation deviates from the strict arrangement. Instead of a decimal canon, Bach uses a quodlibet here , which artfully interweaves two folk songs in a contrapuntal way.

A da capo of the aria , not reproduced in the first edition , concludes the cycle.

This results in the following large-scale disposition:

1st part: 16 movements Part 2: 16 movements
Aria 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations 3 variations Aria
Internal organization of the ten groups of three
free variation free variation Canon or Quodlibet

The symmetrical structure and the schematic internal structure form the framework for a variety of musical forms (Bach in his hand copy: various changes ). The Varietas the variations used for example by different record types, tempos, time signatures, Tongeschlechter, playing styles and the different configuration of the interval canons into being.

Individual analyzes


Untitled piano piece, notated by Anna Magdalena Bach in her second booklet. It is identical to the aria of the Goldberg Variations , except for small details .
Aria of the Goldberg Variations in a well-tempered mood (Werckmeister III) played on a digital piano with digitized harpsichord sound

The aria is the only movement in the work of which there is an earlier, handwritten version. This differs from the printed aria only in minor details that seem unimportant . Anna Magdalena Bach entered it without a title in her second sheet music book , begun in 1725 . In doing so, the sentence ended up on two blank pages, which had previously been free, between the singing and singing of a song that had been written down earlier. Ever since Arnold Schering, on the basis of style-critical studies, took the view that Bach could not be the author of the aria or its original, the dispute about its origin has continued. The probable time of writing also plays a role. Anna Magdalena's handwriting suggests that she entered the notes between 1735 and 1741. The untitled movement can thus be seen in direct temporal connection with the composition of the work of variations. Against Bach's authorship, the abundant, detailed ornamentation of the melody and lower voices in the French manner is cited. a. the special quality of the widely spun bass foundation, the first eight bars of which Bach gave further great importance in his personal copy by writing fourteen canons. Hidden melodic allusions to Variation 30, the Quodlibet, were also given.

In this case, the Italian name Aria does not mean a stylized operatic aria, but a type of instrumental movement that has often been used as a theme for instrumental variations in the Italian and German Baroque since Girolamo Frescobaldi ( Aria detta la frescobalda of 1627). In addition to the mostly vocal melody, the harmonic structure above an often ostinate bass has a constitutive meaning. A similar example is shown by Georg Friedrich Handel's richly decorated Air as the theme of subsequent variations in his Harpsichord Suite in D minor published in 1720 (HWV 428). According to Christoph Wolff, the first part of the bass part is similar to the ostinato bass in Handel's Chaconne avec 62 veriations HWV 442.

The aria of the Goldberg Variations is in two parts ( forma bipartita consisting of 16 + 16 bars repeated each time). The number of 32 bars corresponds to the number of 32 movements. The aria resembles the sentence type of a solemn saraband . Their rich, precisely written out ornamentation refers to François Couperin .

This aria is given special weight because it not only precedes the cycle and provides its fundamental bass, but also concludes the work in a da capo . With this Bach follows a baroque practice in which the varied melody is once again clearly emphasized in the last variation.

Fundamental notes

The aria and most of the variations have bass lines that can be traced back to 32 fundamental notes . In Variatio 18 , some fundamental notes have been moved to the upper parts. Sometimes these appear distributed over the two voices of two keyboards, as in Variatio 20, or when the hands are crossed they get into higher voices as in Variatio 17 . As in the ideal form shown below, however, they do not occur anywhere. Sometimes they are moved away from the beginning of the bar or are replaced by other tones of the corresponding chords.

Fundamental notes

The 32 bars can be divided into equal sections. There is a cadence at the end of each part.

Harmonious rough structure
Bars 1–8 Bars 9-16 Bars 17–24 Bars 25–32
Cadence in G Cadence in D Cadence in e Cadence in G

Many variations correspond to this simple harmonic structure. In individual variations there are further harmonic means such as intermediate dominants, evasions and the Neapolitan sixth chord . The minor variations have the basic scheme g – D – Eb – g according to their key type.

Bach's use of the fundamental notes differs from the prevailing custom until then, to leave the harmonic structure above the bass as unchanged as possible in the case of variations and to mark the first beat of the bars with the bass notes, and comes to a fairly free, variable use of the traditional means .

This can be seen, for example, when comparing the Goldberg Variations with Georg Friedrich Handel's Chaconne in G major, composed between 1703 and 1706 and published in 1730 and 1733, with 62 variations (HWV 442). Their bass foundation is limited to eight notes and corresponds to the first eight of the thirty-two Bach fundamental notes. As the last variation of this chaconne, Handel composed a two-part canon - albeit without a bass foundation. Nevertheless, this fact led to the assumption that Bach knew Handel's Chaconne and took it as a direct inspiration for the composition of the Goldberg Variations and the associated fourteen canons . But no sources support this theory.

On the other hand, it is documented that Bach owned Girolamo Frescobaldi's Fiori musicali and knew Dietrich Buxtehude's work of variations and was thus familiar with the traditions of compositions of variations on ostinato basses, including compositions by Henry Purcell and François Couperin, for example. Frescobaldi not only used ostinate basses, but also varied the Bergamasca melody in the Bergamasca from the Fiori musicali , which is the basis of the song Kraut und Rüben ... used by Bach .

The only composer known to Bach who had used a similarly extensive harmony and bass framework was Johann Christoph Bach (1642–1703) with his Sarabanda duodecies variata .

Canons and freely imitating polyphony

Beginning of Variatio 12 , canon in the lower quarters with reversal

Every third variation is a canon. These are so-called interval canons, in which the canon parts begin in a larger interval from one another, namely from the prime ( called all'Unisuono by Bach ) to the ninth . All canons are two-part and, with the exception of the canon in the ninth, are accompanied by a third voice, one of the bass lines of the aria . Variatio 12 and Variatio 15 contain canons of inversion, namely Variatio 12 in the lower fourth and Variatio 15 in the upper fifth.

These clavier canons are without a direct model, i.e. Bach's very own creation.

The non-canonical variations are also permeated by polyphonic compositional techniques and, in comparison with the canons, can be described as freely imitating. Above all, three types of movements should be mentioned: Invention or Duetto , Fugue or Fugato and, more generally, the Stile antico , which comes from the old polyphonic vocal music and is characterized by a notation in large note values ​​and in alla breve time. In addition, there are polyphonic forms that cannot be assigned to any previous scheme.

Beginning of Variatio 22
  • In the sentence type of Inventions, for example, Variatio 1 , Variatio 8 , Variatio 11 and Variatio 17 .
  • The Variatio 10 (Fugetta) and the Fugato in Variatio 16 are fugal .
  • Variatio 10 , Variatio 18 and Variatio 22 are committed to the style antico .
  • Free polyphony without a predefined scheme can be found in Variatio 4 and Variatio 19 , for example


Bach based some variations on familiar forms, genres and sentence types.


  • Polonaise : Variatio 1 is characterized by the rhythm of a polonaise (bar 1, lower part), which - inserted from bars - becomes a written mordent (bar 1, upper part).
  • Passepied : Variatio 4, but the characteristic eighth-note prelude is missing.
    Beginning of Variatio 7 , al tempo di Giga
  • Gigue (French type): Variatio 7 received the addition "al tempo di Giga" from Bach himself in his personal copy . Still, it is a French canary- type jig.
  • Giga (Italian type): Variatio 11 with 12/16 time and the running 16th notes.
  • Minuet : Variatio 19 and Variatio 27; In French clavecin music, too , minuets in 3/8 time appear more frequently.
  • Sarabande : Variatio 26 is a three-part pièce croisée with two different time signatures for the two hands. The two-part saraband is fingered in 3/4 time, the running notes are in 18/16 time.
  • Trio sonata : Variatio 2 with its imitating two upper voices and the bass line resembles the movement of a Corelli trio sonata.
  • Fughetta : Variatio 10 a small fugue with a periodic structure. The melody clearly points to the Bergamasca of the Quodlibet.
  • Aria : Variatio 13 is like an aria in the monodico style .
  • French overture : Variatio 16 with typical dots in slow alla breve and with fast fugato in 3/8 time.
    Beginning of Variatio 29
  • Toccata : Variatio 29 comes from the Italian Toccata tradition.
  • Lamento : Variatio 21 and Variatio 25 show the typical chromatically filled descending fourths in the bass. See below the chapter "Minor Variations - Concerning tertiam minorem or Re Mi Fa".
  • Stile antico : see above in the chapter "Canons and freely imitating polyphony".
  • Quodlibet : Variatio 30 is discussed separately below.

Bravura pieces

Beginning of Variatio 14

The brilliant sentences can be seen and heard as an homage to Domenico Scarlatti , whose Essercizi appeared in print in 1738. Bach's virtuoso, the corresponding variations of the crossing of the hands, which Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach called a “very torn witchcraft” in 1731, and the crossing of hands (pièce croisée) are characterized by Bach's virtuoso. These include Variatio 5, Variatio 14, Variatio 20, Variatio 23 and Variatio 28.

Minor variations

Beginning of Variatio 25 with the entry adagio added later by Bach and additional suggestions

The three G minor variations (according to Bach's parlance in the title of the Well-Tempered Clavier, concerning variations tertiam minorem or Re Mi Fa ) received a special affect within the variation series . They become lamentos in the affectus tristitiae (complaints in the affect of sadness) by a chromatic chromaticism rich in dissonance with many suspensions ('sighs') - especially in Variatio 15 - and the chromatically filled, downward fourth in Variatio 21 and Variatio 25 . In 1747 Bach entered the chromatic 11th canon of the hand copy (see below), which has similar traits, in a register and provided it with an inscription that can be transferred to the G minor variations:

Symbolum. / Christ Coronabit Crucigeros. ("Christ will crown those who carry the cross.")


Quodlibet in the first edition

Forkel reports on the customs of the extended Bach family of enjoying themselves at their get-togethers at the impromptu singing of Quodlibets :

“They were now singing folk songs, sometimes of amusing, sometimes also of slippery content, at the same time off the cuff, so that the various external voices made up a kind of harmony, but the texts in each part had a different content. They called this kind of extreme co-ordination Quodlibet, and could not only laugh with all their hearts, but also aroused a hearty and irresistible laugh from everyone who heard them. "

This report and the texts of the songs that echo in the Quodlibet of the Goldberg Variations illuminate the last variation of the cycle in a bourgeois, sedate manner. Sound for bass theme namely fragments of two popular songs of Bach's time, the Thuringian-Saxon folk songs I'm so long not West with you g (e), jerk ago, jerk ago, jerk ago and cabbage and turnips have me expelled .

The core melody of the Bergamasca in the Quodlibet and in Variatio 10 .

But there is no room for any kind of improvisation in this piece. It is carefully worked out down to the last detail. Despite the variety of motifs, the Quodlibet looks very uniform. Beyond the tranquility of a humorous farewell and sweeping dance, as suggested by the folk melodies, a closer analysis reveals far more significant references. Because the cabbage-and-beet melody is a variant of the traditional Bergamasca melody, which, together with an ostinate bass, was the subject of innumerable variations. The tradition goes back to the 16th century through Buxtehude's La Capricciosa, Frescobaldi's Aria di Romanesca and Scheidt's Canzon à 5 Voci ad imitationem Bergamasc . The melody has been recorded since 1570.

A look back at the previous 29 variations and the aria shows that the melody structure of the opening bars of the 'Kraut-und-Rüben-Melody' occurs occasionally above the cadenzas. It cannot be proven that this is a planned design, but that Bach was aware of the connection between his Quodlibet and the Bergamasca tradition can be considered certain, primarily because of his knowledge of the corresponding works by Frescobaldi and Buxtehude.

Johann Sebastian Bach's personal copy

Canon triplex from the painting by EG Haußmann (1746), original print of Canon BWV 1076 (1747) and Canon No. 13 from the personal copy.

In 1975 Bach's personal copy of the Goldberg Variations was discovered in Strasbourg. In addition to a number of carefully entered additional tempo rules, decorations, articulation signs and accidentals, it also contains fourteen “Various canons over the first eight fundamental = notes of the previous aria. by JS Bach “(BWV 1087) in fair copy.

The same eight notes can also be found in the bottom line of the sheet of music facing the viewer, which Bach holds in his hand in the oil painting by Elias Gottlob Haußmann from 1746 and on which the Canon triplex a 6 V [ocibus]. stands.

The corrections and the additions with the fourteen canons may indicate that Bach was planning a new edition.

See also: Various canons

Classification of music history

“The Goldberg Variations are an eminently historical work. Two hundred years of music history have gone down in them, and they still have an impact on music history today. They are also a work of synthesis. 'Ars musica' and play, canon and variation, 'Adagio' and Quodlibet are combined into a whole. "

Italian, French and German traditions of piano music meet in Bach's Goldberg Variations . In addition, they also capture styles of composition and forms of vocal and instrumental ensemble music. As explained, the spectrum ranges from simple folk songs to learned polyphonic techniques and from vocal music to something entirely invented from the technique of the piano . In a deliberately arranged order, the work brings together many Bach from musical history and known types of music from his own time into a living unit. The Goldberg Variations give "a convincing demonstration that artistic construction and natural grace are by no means mutually exclusive."

Since the Goldberg Variations were already available in print in 1741 and, thanks in particular to Forkel's anecdote and his commitment to the new edition of Bach's piano music, were never forgotten, music lovers and composers were already aware of them at the beginning of the 19th century. Today they serve the training of harpsichordists and pianists and have a permanent place in their concert repertoire and recordings on sound carriers.

Editions and adaptations

After the first print in 1741, the first further prints were published in 1804. They were published by Hoffmeister & Kühnel, Bureau de Musique and by Hans Georg Nägeli in issue 7 of the musical works of art series . in the strict style. Already in these editions it was announced what happened more often in the following years: the musical text was changed. The reason for this was mainly the transfer to the pianoforte with only one keyboard.

This can also be observed in Carl Czerny's edition with fingerings from 1840 in Oeuvre complets . Livre 6, at CF Peters .

In some cases, Josef Gabriel Rheinberger intervened in the musical text in his arrangement for two pianos from 1880 to 1885. He had u. a. the aim of being able to offer a "treasure of house music". In 1913 Max Reger revised this arrangement and supplemented it, for example, with information on dynamics, articulation and tempo.

Ferruccio Busoni, on the other hand, wanted to “save” the Goldberg Variations for the concert hall with his arrangement from 1914 . He recommended radical cuts: repetitions and several canons should be deleted. He summarized Variatio 29 , the Quodlibet and the repetition of the Aria in a large, effective finale . However, he also offered the version of the Bach Complete Edition for comparison.

The work has stimulated numerous other composers, conductors and instrumental musicians to more or less freely adaptations.


There are also recordings with accordion , brass ensemble, flute trio, guitar , string ensemble or even two cimbalons .

The Bach Complete Editions stand in contrast to these tendencies. The edition of the Goldberg Variations from 1853 in Volume III of the 'old' Bach Complete Edition was - although still without a critical apparatus - an important milestone on the way to a scientifically sound, text-critical edition for science and practice. After finding Bach's personal copy in 1975, this was at least temporarily achieved with the publication in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe under the care of Christoph Wolff .

Musical interpretation

Overall, the work demands a high degree of virtuosity and is considered one of the most difficult piano compositions by Bach. This is especially true for performers who want to use a modern piano instead of the intended harpsichord , as the work was composed for a two-manual instrument and in some places it is difficult to perform with just one keyboard.

The Canadian pianist Glenn Gould , who recorded the work twice in the studio with the modern concert grand, is considered the most famous interpreter of the modern era . There is also a wealth of other recordings, both on the harpsichord and on the piano.

Goldberg Variations in Literature

  • ETA Hoffmann's Kreisleriana appeared in 1814 as part of the Fantasy Pieces in Callot's manner . In the first piece from it, Johannes Kreisler, the Kapellmeister, Musical Sorrows , the fictional Kapellmeister Kreisler demonstrates the inability of a bourgeois Biedermeier society to grasp great art and music by publishing the "Johann Sebastian Bach Variations for the Piano" at Nägeli in Zurich ”. Alone with his music servant and red Burgundy, he lets the Quodlibet inspire him to fantasize:

“[…] But this nro. 30, the subject, tore me away inexorably. The quarters suddenly expanded into a gigantic portfolio, where a thousand imitations and explanations of the subject were written that I had to play back. The notes came to life and flickered and bounced around me - electric fire ran through the fingertips into the keys - the spirit from which it emanated outstripped the thoughts [...] "

The Goldberg Variations were thus introduced into literature and knowledge about them also reached the composer generations around Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, who played the Goldberg Variations in public.

  • In 1974 Dieter Kühn's radio play Goldberg Variations was broadcast for the first time. Based on Forkel's report, it processes the relationship between Goldberg and Count Keyserlingk and deals with the social and political conditions of the time around 1748 and broadens this topic in general:

“There is a dialogue between a speaker and a musician who is only present in his music. The radio play is - as the title suggests - a series of variations: The relationships and contradictions between music and a historical reality in which this music is created are investigated in ever new constellations. "

- Dieter Kühn : to the radio play department of Bayerischer Rundfunk, June 28, 1973
  • In 1983 Thomas Bernhard's novel Der Untergeher was published. It contains references to the Goldberg Variations on various levels . He deals with the half real and half fictitious figure of Glenn Gould and his practice and interpretation of the Goldberg Variations . The history of the origins of the Goldberg Variations is satirized, the connection to the two folk songs of the Quodlibet is made by a landlady and a lumberjack, and the form and numbers of the Goldberg Variations are taken up in the Untergeher . The word Aria appears twice, the word Goldberg Variations 32 times and in the introductory paragraphs, similar to the Aria, thematic material is exposed, which in variations determines the entire novel.
  • In the novels Das Schweigen der Lämmer (1988) and Hannibal (1999) by Thomas Harris , the protagonist Hannibal Lecter is portrayed as an educated Bach lover. In the first novel, Lecter lets the Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould sound on the cassette recorder in his cell while he kills or mutilates his guards. In the second novel he plays the Goldberg Variations on his grand piano in Florence .
  • In 1991 George Tabori's play Goldberg Variations premiered. However, Tabori has only borrowed the title. There is no further reference to Bach's work.
  • In 2008 Anna Enquist , clinical psychologist and trained pianist, published the novel Kontrapunkt (Original Contrapunt ). Enquist starts from the fictitious idea that Bach's son Johann Gottfried Bernhard , who died in 1739 at the age of 24, loved the aria . That is why Bach chose the aria as a variation theme. "He kept his son with him when he immersed himself in the variations, he did not go mad with despair as long as he was composing, he was working on a resounding tomb for the prodigal son". While the protagonist is rehearsing the Goldberg Variations on the piano, she can bring her fatally injured daughter back to herself in memories and cope with the grief for her with the help of music.
  • In 2015 Leon de Winter published the novel Geronimo . In it the female protagonist Apana develops a passion for the Goldberg Variations. In addition, the novel is based on the Goldberg Variations. It has 32 sections, the first and last of which are identical.


  • Werner Breig : Bach's Goldberg Variations as a cyclical work. Musicology Archives . XXXII, 1975.
  • Rolf Dammann: Johann Sebastian's "Goldberg Variations" . Schott, Mainz, London, New York, Tokyo 1986, ISBN 978-3-7957-1792-6 .
  • Ingrid Kaussler, Helmut Kaussler: The Goldberg Variations by JS Bach . Free Spiritual Life Publishing House, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 978-3-7725-0845-5 .
  • Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Rainer Riehn (ed.): Johann Sebastian Bach - Goldberg Variations (= music concepts. 42). Munich 1985.
  • Ulrich Siegele: Johann Sebastian Bach composes time. Tempo and duration in his music. Volume 1: Foundation and Goldberg Variations. Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-7323-0226-0 .
  • Andreas Traub: Johann Sebastian Bach. Goldberg Variations BWV 988. Munich 1983, ISBN 3-7705-2166-8 .
  • Peter F. Williams: Bach: The Goldberg Variations. Cambridge 2001 (Reprint 2003), ISBN 0-521-00193-5 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gregory Butler : News on the dating of the Goldberg Variations , Bach Yearbook 74 (1988). doi: 10.13141 / bjb.v19882590
  2. a b About Johann Sebastian Bach's life, art and works of art , Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel et altera 1974, pp. 91–93, see also the online version
  3. ^ Christoph Wolff: Johann Sebastian Bach . 2nd edition, Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 406
  4. a b Christoph Wolff: Bach's hand copy of the Goldberg Variations: A New Source. JAMS 29, 1976
  5. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 11
  6. ^ Heinz Hermann Niemöller: Polonaise and Quodlibet. In: Music Concepts, 42, 1985, p. 4 u. 5.
  7. a b Christoph Wolff, Frankfurt am Main, p. 407.
  8. ^ Werner Neumann: Image documents on the life story of Johann Sebastian Bach. Kassel et al. 1979, pp. 214-217.
  9. a b Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 81
  10. Christoph Wolff: Bach's hand copy of the Goldberg Variations: A New Source. JAMS 29, 1976, pp. 229-231.
  11. ^ Günter Hartmann: BWV 988: Bergamasca Variations? or The Quodlibet, which falls out of the ordinary . Lahnstein 1997, own findings and helpful quotations along with sheet music examples at various points in the pamphlet, especially pp. 74–78
  12. Wolfgang Ruf: Arie, I. Term Terminology and Early History up to the 16th Century . In The Music Past and Present . Second, revised edition, part 1, Kassel et altera 1994, column 812
  13. ^ Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 85, cf. Bach's Sarabande in the French Suite in G major
  14. cf. Aria Eberliniana pro dormente camillo varita by Johann Christoph Bach from 1680, facsimile in Johann Christoph Bach. ARIA EBERLINIANA . New Bach Society e. V., Leipzig 1992. Note, however, the similarities and differences in Ludwig Beethoven's Fifteen Variations with a Fugue, Op. 35 (1802) and Robert Schumann's Impromptus on a Theme by Clara Wieck, Op. 5 (1832)
  15. Designation according to the fundamental notes of the 14 canons in Bach's personal copy
  16. a b Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 32f
  17. ^ Henry Purcell: A Ground in Gamut
  18. Several sentences from Premiere Ordre and Dixiême Ordre , see Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 31f
  19. Günter Hartmann, Lahnstein 1997, pp. 56–58
  20. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 31
  21. ^ Andreas Jacob: Studies on the type of composition and the concept of composition in Bach's piano exercises (= Archive for Musicology . Supplement XL). Stuttgart 1997, p. 56
  22. Christoph Wolff: The style antico in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach . Wiesbaden, 1968.
  23. In the first print it says "Fugetta" and not, as it should be, "Fughetta"
  24. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, pp. 90-97
  25. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, pp. 109–117. See also Dietrich Buxtehude: Aria: La Capricciosa (32 partite diverse) (BuxWV 250), Partita 29.
  26. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, pp. 123–125
  27. ^ Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 136
  28. ^ Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 180
  29. Andreas Jacob considers this variation to be a Passepied , see Andreas Jacob, Stuttgart 1997, p. 243 u. 252
  30. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 216
  31. Peter F. Williams, Cambridge 2001, p. 57
  32. ^ Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 98
  33. a b Günter Hartmann, Lahnstein 1997, pp. 74-78
  34. ^ Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 144
  35. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 229f
  36. Peter F. Williams, Cambridge 2001, pp. 28f
  37. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, p. 64f
  38. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, pp. 190-193 and 208-215
  39. ^ Werner Neumann: Image documents on the life story of Johann Sebastian Bach . Kassel et altera 1979, p. 330
  40. The identification of the songs goes back to the Bach student Johann Christian Kittel . See Andreas Jacob: Studies on the type of composition and the concept of composition in Bach's piano exercises. (= Archive for Musicology. Supplement XL). Stuttgart 1997, p. 263. There further references
  41. ^ Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, pp. 234f
  42. Günter Hartmann, Lahnstein 1997, pp. 53–67.
  43. See above in the chapter "Fundamental Notes"
  44. Rolf Dammann, Mainz 1986, pp. 241–246
  45. Online presentation of the personal copy
  46. ^ Andreas Traub: Johann Sebastian Bach. Goldberg Variations BWV 988. Munich 1983, p. 70
  47. ^ Christoph Wolff: Johann Sebastian Bach , 2nd edition 2007. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, p. 407
  48. a b c Andreas Traub, Munich 1983, p. 67ff
  49. Peter F. Williams, Cambridge 2001, p. 95
  50. Seiji Choki: Two aspects of the Bach reception at the turn of the century. Reger and Busoni. In: Alexander Becker (Ed.): 6. Reger studies. Musical modernity and tradition. Karlsruhe 1998, pp. 313-319. ISBN 3-7651-0335-7
  51. Karlheinz Essl: Gold.Berg.Werk
  52. Score at IMSLP
  53. ^ English-Japanese website with extensive discography
  54. ^ Heinz Hermann Niemöller: Polonaise and Quodlibet , in: Musik-Konzept 42 , 1985, page 3
  55. ETA Hoffmann: JohannesKreisler, the Kapellmeister, musical suffering (
  56. ^ Andreas Traub, Munich 1983, p. 70
  57. ^ Association of War Blind Germany / Film Foundation North Rhine-Westphalia (Ed.): HörWelten. 50 years of the war blind radio play award. ( Memento of the original from September 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Berlin 2001, p. 57 (PDF 558 KB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  58. Liesbeth M. Voerknecht: Thomas Bernhard and the music. The loser. In Joachim Hoell, Kai Luehrs-Kaiser (ed.): Thomas Bernhard: Traditions und Trabanten . Berlin 1999, pp. 195-199
  59. Anna Enquist in counterpoint
  60. ^ Leipzig Book Fair, Events - Reading with Leon de Winter - Structure of the novel
  61. Significance of the Goldberg Variations for Apana ( Memento of the original from March 25, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

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