May 8 & 9, 2016

1516Goldberg Variations

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Ida Kavafian, violin
Steven Tenenbom, viola
Peter Wiley, cello


Experience live the profound journey of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Performed by venerated artists Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, and Peter Wiley, this event will be a musical encounter to remember.

This special presentation is anticipated to end by 5:15pm on Mother’s Day.


Bach Goldberg Variations (arranged for string trio by D. Sitkovetsky)
The Goldberg Variations were “composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits” according to the title page of Bach’s fourth volume of Clavier-Übung (keyboard practice) published in 1741. It is believed that Bach wrote this piece for Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have given the first performance. The work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form.

Goldberg Variations is framed at the beginning and end by the aria, and there are ten groups of three variations. Each group features two variations in increasing difficulty and a canon. The canons begin in unison, and progress in an ascending pattern, ending at the ninth. The final canon combines the aria with two melodies that were popular in Bach’s time: “Cabbage and beets have driven me away” and “I have been away from you for so long.”

Originally written for harpsichord, in 1984, Russian violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky transcribed Bach’s Goldberg Variations for string trio after being inspired by the 1981 Glen Gould recording of the same piece.