GENERAL DISCUSSION: Bach Goldberg Variations

Seems like a few of us are interested in taking a deep dive into a few of the amazing Goldberg Variations!

 

Since we will all be busy with next month's Community Challenge, I was thinking that this project could have a longer timeline.   Perhaps we could even learn a few variations over the winter holidays?

 

What do you think about everyone learning the Aria and the each member suggests 1 variation for us all to learn? 

 

So far, I think we have about 5-6 Tonebase friends in this group, so that would be only 5-6  variations so far.  Please tag anyone else who'd like to join this "additional" challenge group!

 

Warmest regards,

Gail

 

  Monika Tusnady Susan Sindre     Pauline Juan Carlos Olite Genevieve

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  • Hello Everyone! This is a great idea! I will join in :)

     

    I will admit that I have already performed this piece before, but it never hurts to revisit it! :)

    (From back in 2017)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypv4oO6Vz30

     

    It is SO hard to pick a favorite variation, I will probably submit several!

    A few of my absolute favorites include:

    No.1, NUMBER 4, No.5, No.7, No.25 (nicknamed The black pearl), No.30!!!!

     

    This piece is extremely difficult BUT manageable! For many of the variations they involve the need for double manual harpsichord, but CAN work well on a single-manual piano. I can offer my humble fingerings/hand crossing combinations (often different than the way the printed page suggests!) that I used for comfort and reliability if you request a certain variation!

     

    Looking Forward and thanks for starting this, Gail!

    Like 6
    • Gail Starr Thank you so much Gail!!

      Like
    • Sindre Skarelven It is my honor Sindre! Such a pleasure to be able to connect with such wonderful people like yourself :)

      Like
    • mariannejhampton Yes! I had a small lecture on some variations earlier this year!

      Like 1
      • Juanjo
      • Juanjo
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dominic Cheli thank you very much for your performance, impresive!. Each time I see a complete performance of the Goldbergs I'm overwellming. I think is one of the bigest challenge a pianist can do.
      After you learn a Bach pece, what kind of extra work you need to ensure memory at the public performance? Could you share some tips with us?
      I hope this is a good topic for a future tonebase lesson!
      Thank you very much for your atention Dominic

      Like
  • I love the idea of a longer time! Let’s really savor it. Plus I didn’t know how I could fit it both the regular challenges and Goldberg variations at once! Maybe instead of a “3 week challenge” it can be a “3 month challenge.”  :)  I will get back to you with my favorite variation soon. Thank you Gail for putting this together. 

    Like 2
    • Susan 3 month challenge sounds more like it for this masterpiece!

      Like 1
    • Susan Maybe we could even keep it open longer so people can add to it as they learn more variations ? 

      Like 3
    • mariannejhampton yes - I believe even after a challenge is over you can still add to the strand later if you want to share something. Or maybe this will end up being an open ended project. 

      Like 3
    • Susan open ended sounds good to me !

      Like 2
    • mariannejhampton This is a life-long piece project for many people, so yes we will leave this thread open! 3 months isn't even enough time!

      Like 2
    • Monika Tusnady
    • The Retired French Teacher
    • Monikainfrance
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I've recently listened to Ann Marie McDermott's wonderful lessons on Bach's English Suite No.2 and feel that her teachings on that suite are applicable to...just about any piece of music, particularly Bach, of course. Highly recommended for inspiration. 

    Like 4
      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady That lesson was INCREDIBLE!! I highly recommend it too!! Just her playing was out of this world, and that suite… another masterpiece by Bach!! 

      Like 3
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven Monika Tusnady Fabulous!  I will watch Anne-Marie's lessons once I get back after a week of meetings/travel.

      Like 4
    • Gail Starr Yes you should! I second all of the opinions above about how wonderful she is :)

      Like 1
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dominic Cheli In college I had a summer job working for her concert management.  (My degrees are in business, no music 😂)  She’s wonderful!

      Like 3
    • Gail Starr That is so cool! I got to know her quite well this past summer at the Bravo! Vail Festival. Lots of 1 on 1 interaction and performing with her :) (4 hands and even 6 hands piano music!)

      Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dominic Cheli Gail Starr  You are so fortunate! Such a contact would seem life-changing!

      Like 1
  • I would like any one of these for my choice: 1, 4, 6, 10, 13, 30. I listed them all because there may be doubling up of choices as more people respond. I can narrow it down to one choice if you prefer though.

    Like 2
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Susan Super!  Maybe I should create a Google Docs where we all share the variations we've selected?  Anyone can work on any variations they like, since this is a "side hustle", longer-term challenge!

      Like 2
    • Susan These are wonderful variations! You should work on any/all that you like :)

      Like 3
    • Gail Starr That sounds great or I can do that! It would be nice to keep track of who is working on what!

      Like 1
    • Gail Starr I would love a list . Do you have it down that I would like to play 22 if no one else wants it ? I could also do 21 if given enough time .

      Like 2
    • Sindre Skarelven
    • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
    • Sindre_Skarelven
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I love this idea Gail ! I agree that this needs to be a longer project. I must play Variation 1 !!! I just love that variation so much, I have to pick that one. But it is okey to play several I guess!? Var 5 seems like a great challenge! I also would like to take on a quiet one like var 7. and maybe I can throw in var. 8 to the mix. 

    Like 3
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven I bet you will pick ALL of them, learn them this weekend, memorize them next Monday and come out with a Grammy-award winning CD on Wednesday.  I'll help you pick the cover photo for your recording! 😍

      Like 2
      • Monika Tusnady
      • The Retired French Teacher
      • Monikainfrance
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Gail Starr that is too funny! 

      Agreed, Sindre will pick all of them instead of he and I fighting over Variation1. I would also play 2, 3, and 4, but they would not make sense without 1. 

      Like 2
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