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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
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Arrangers : › Bach, Johann Sebastian Original (32)
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Bach, Johann Sebastian: The Goldberg Variations for Flute, Clarinet & Cello

The Goldberg Variations for Flute, Clarinet & Cello
BWV 988
Johann Sebastian Bach

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ViewDownload PDF : The Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) for Flute, Clarinet & Cello (48 pages - 1.12 Mo)52x

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ViewDownload PDF : The Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) for Flute, Clarinet & Cello (2.11 Mo)

Composer :Johann Sebastian BachBach, Johann Sebastian (1685 - 1750)
Instrumentation :

Flute, Clarinet and Cello

  1 other version
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Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
The Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) is a work written for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. The Variations are named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer.

Rather unusually for Bach's works, the Goldberg Variations were published in his own lifetime, in 1741. The publisher was Bach's friend Balthasar Schmid of Nuremberg. Schmid printed the work by making engraved copper plates (rather than using movable type); thus the notes of the first edition are in Schmid's own handwriting.

It is difficult to believe that Bach would have published a commissioned work without any dedication to either Keyserlingk or Goldberg, which makes the story doubtful, along with the fact that Goldberg was only 14 at the time. Goldberg, however, was a renowned prodigy, and there are links between Bach and Keyserlingk. Bach may have given Keyserlingk a copy of the printed edition and received a reward for it. The aria which is the subject of the variations is an original creation, an elegantly serene sarabande which contains everything Bach needs for a vast universe of variation. Do not listen for that exquisite tune in the variations, however. Only some unifying cadential phrasing survives Bach’s transformations, which are based on the aria’s architecture and harmonic pattern, particularly the bass line, making the Goldberg Variations a sort of mega passacaglia or chaconne.

As András Schiff wrote in the liner notes for his live recording of the “Goldberg” Variations: “ ‘Aller guten Dinge sind drei’ – All good things are three, thus the 30 variations are divided into ten groups of three. Each group contains a brilliant virtuoso toccata-like piece, a gentle and elegant character piece, and a strictly polyphonic canon. The canons are presented in a sequence of increasing intervals, starting with the canon in unison up until the canon in ninths. In place of the canon in tenths we have a quodlibet (what pleases), which combines fragments of two folk songs with the ground bass. The tonality remains G major for the most part, with shadows of tonic minor in three variations (Nos. 15, 21, & 25).” -John Henken

The work consists of an aria (sarabande) in 3/4 time, and features a heavily ornamented melody followed by 30 variations.

Source: Wikipedia (

Although originally written for Harpsichord. I created this Interpretation of the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) for Flute, Bb Clarinet & Cello.
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Variations Goldberg (78 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2018-06-28

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