The Goldberg Variations

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The "Goldberg" Variations

The Goldbergs, originally for a two-keyboard instrument , become uniquely treacherous when played on just one. There are many impossible crossings, many unplayable moments. You have to decide which hand goes over the other, and practise how to make the switch smoothly; but there is always the possibility you will be on stage, communing with the spheres, and your fingers and wrists will literally tangle — like two dancers who stumble over each other — scattering wrong notes into paradise.

You must always also be reminded that the instrument you are playing them on is the "wrong" one, especially by critics. On top of their difficulty, the Goldbergs are terrifyingly clean. The work clings mostly to the purity of G major, and its materials are so self-evident: It almost like a lesson plan, with modular units, and everyone knows them — they are as well-travelled as a seasoned flier in an airport lounge. I never wanted anything to do with the Goldbergs , but one day — I don't know how — my friend Toby Saks convinced me to learn them for her festival in Seattle.

She thought it would change my life. With one hasty yes I was committed — you cannot do a programme substitution with the Goldbergs; it would be like trying to replace George Clooney.

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I broke them into bundles of five, to cope with the project's enormity. The day before my first performance, I remember sitting in a Vietnamese restaurant, hunched over a giant bowl of Pho outside fell classic Seattle drizzle , while my musician friends murmured consoling epithets at me — "I'm sure it will be fine" — treating me like a patient who was about to undergo an operation.

Bach Goldberg Variations Koroliov

The first performance was a bit like a dream, much of it bad, but a few variations had something, I felt. My first taste of Goldberg addiction.

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Was I encouraged or war-scarred? A second period of obsession began, going over those stubborn variations in order to understand the independence or lack thereof of my hands, trying to find the most transparent and loving way to express them.


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And now, nine years later, with a recording under my belt , I probably belong in Goldbergs Anonymous. The Goldbergs, insular and obsessed, have all the failings of classical music in general. The piece is a text reflecting on itself, satisfied in its own world, suggesting that everything you would ever want to know is contained within. The variations by definition music about music are subject to countless insider discussions in the outer world, to comparisons of recordings like heavyweight bouts, to that annoying word "definitive".

Despite this, Bach's smile wins through. The piece is a lesson in many things, but primarily in wonder: The last movements of Beethoven's Op and Op invoke the Goldbergs, and represent a joy beyond achievement. Michael Mando breaks down some classics that had a huge impact on him, including A Space Odyssey , and The Godfather trilogy. Check out the parts the " The Marvelous Mrs.

"The X-Files" The Goldberg Variation (TV Episode ) - IMDb

Maisel " star and Emmy winner has played. Take a look at her early roles.


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The Goldberg Variation 12 Dec A man is tossed off the top of a 29 story building by gangsters. Amazingly, he gets up and walks away unscathed.

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The Goldberg Variation

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