READ ME FIRST: INFO regarding this unique challenge!

Hello Everyone! Due to popular demand I am starting this new section on the forums for a practice challenge involving Bach's Goldberg Variations!

 

I just want to personally invite you to participate in this LONG-TERM, and ONGOING community challenge. This is an unusual and unique situation because it doesn't follow our typical 4-week cycle (3 weeks of practice, 1 week off). 

 

Bach's Goldberg Variations are beloved by many pianists, and a lot of us at tonebase want to get our fingers into it! Because it is such a monumental piece, it needs more than the typical 3 weeks of practice (OF COURSE!). We are opening up this longterm challenge so that you can join in the discussion, and support of many of us who want to learn our favorite variations!

 

There are some easier variations, but overall, this is DIFFICULT music (albeit rewarding!) and I understand that everyone should go at their own pace and share their updates when they are comfortable!

 

I am attaching my preferred edition of the music here (Henle):

Bach: Goldberg Variations

 

Again this is a unique challenge that will be ongoing for the foreseeable future, so there is no rush to learn/post videos. Rather this a place for us to support, inspire, and help each other play this work! 

 

For anyone curious, here is a video of my complete performance of the piece!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypv4oO6Vz30&t=2s

 

I definitely have advice on every aspect of the piece: hand position, fingering, pedaling, note distributions, and more! Feel free to reach out, and embark on the adventure that is this iconic masterpiece!

 

Leave any questions or concerns you might have below!

 

Dominic

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  • Hi,

    I'm pretty new to tone base and was wondering if this challenge is still running?

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    • Angela Fogg Me too. This thread doesn't seem to be getting much traffic lately.

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      • Anthony Miyake
      • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
      • Anthony_Miyake
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Angela Fogg , I'm just going to jump in on this challenge.  It's definitely beautiful piano music.

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    • Anthony Miyake Hi Anthony,

      well I’m right at the start with this one. Been listening to different pianists and their ornamentation for the Aria. I think that is a study in itself!

      Like 1
      • Anthony Miyake
      • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
      • Anthony_Miyake
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Angela Fogg , yes, I've been listening to a lot of recordings as well, especially to get a sense of the timing.  There's a lot of layered voices that come in mid-measure then are extended so hearing the recordings helps with the timing of the entrance of the different voices, especially for measures 17-19.    Of the recordings I've heard, Lang Lang's was particularly unique as he was the only one who rolled the chord in measure 11 up instead of down.  But he rolls the chord down on the repeat as well as changes some of the ornamentals.

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    • Hilda HuangTeam
    • Concert Pianist and tonebase Piano Community Lead
    • Hilda
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Angela Fogg  Anthony Miyake Harriet Kaplan This challenge is absolutely still running! We've got to get some posts to liven up this thread! I might contribute, too!

    Like 1
  • Early in 2020, my teacher and I were talking about what I could work on next, and he suggested "some" of the Goldberg variations. I first dismissed it as an exercise in frustration, but then I pulled out my copy and started slowly reading through, one variation at a time, to see if I could play them at all. I spent a month rewriting the hands-crossing sections to see if that made it easier (it did not, so I went back to the original). By about May, I was practicing them in earnest, and I worked through the whole thing over the next 6 months or so. I started trying to memorize it, and parts of it were sounding decent. But then I tried playing some of it for a class I was taking (it was in person in the "before times"; in 2020-2021, it was on Zoom), and one of the other students was HIGHLY offended that I was daring to play this piece. After I had played a handful of variations in this class a few times, she finally exploded at me and was horribly insulting, and the school didn't really do anything to fix the situation. This put a damper on my enthusiasm for Goldberg, and I turned to other things. But I really would like to get over the sad feelings from this experience, bring it back at least to where it was, and, I hope, improve on it.

    Next month, I am going to New York to hear Simone Dinnerstein play it, so I'm looking forward to that. I've heard a couple other people play it live, and have a bunch of recordings. 

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