View Poll Results: How Highly Do You Rate Bach's Goldberg Variations?

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  • One of the very finest of all keyboard compositions

    57 77.03%
  • As fine as numerous other keyboard pieces by any composer

    10 13.51%
  • Indifferent

    2 2.70%
  • A weak piece

    2 2.70%
  • Unsure

    1 1.35%
  • I have never listened to it before

    1 1.35%
  • Who cares

    1 1.35%
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Thread: How Highly Do You Rate Bach's Goldberg Variations?

  1. #1
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    Default How Highly Do You Rate Bach's Goldberg Variations?

    Bach's Goldberg Variations must be one of the most popular and great keyboard compositions. From its beautiful opening aria (one of my favorite melodies in all music) to the contrapuntal variation of that theme. A work of greatness by a genius!

    How highly do you rate it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Yeah, hey, you know, it's like, pretty good.


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    Overcame my natural reluctance to agree with supposedly objective assessments. Voted "one of the very finest".

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  5. #4
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    One of the very finest of all keyboard compositions

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    One of the very finest of all keyboard compositions
    It sure is! I just can't forget that beautiful opening aria!

    This variation X is just so perfectly symmetrical and pure Bach!


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  9. #6
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Together with Beethoven's Diabelli it is the summit of keyboard variation form.

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    A wonderful, wonderful piece, full of the best of Bach's melodic, rhythmic and contrapuntal invention, and if it's the best of Bach it's among the best there's ever been.

  11. #8
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I prefer the '48' and Art of Fugue but not by very much. All of them are towering achievements which never lose their appeal for me.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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  13. #9
    Senior Member GioCar's Avatar
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    An easy poll..........

  14. #10
    Senior Member Fugue Meister's Avatar
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    One of the very great pieces of the piano literature. Perhaps only Beethoven's Diabelli variations comes close for keyboard variations.
    Last edited by Fugue Meister; Feb-05-2016 at 14:06.

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    And I should have mentioned the apparent naming of Goldberg was almost certainly just a story fabricated much, much later after his death. The work was originally part of Bach's much larger and coherent design for his entire Clavier Ubung publication.

    The grand title page was almost certainly composed largely by Bach's own words,

    "Keyboard exercise, consisting of an ARIA with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals. Composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits, by Johann Sebastian Bach, composer for the royal court of Poland and the Electoral court of Saxony, Kapellmeister and Director of Choral Music in Leipzig. Nuremberg, Balthasar Schmid, publisher"

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  18. #12
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    I think they're pretty neat.

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  20. #13
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    A pinnacle! I came late to the Goldberg Variations and didn't realise the pretty little ditty that I loved on The English Patient was the aria from Goldberg. Variation XXIII was used to great effect in a documentary about Frank Lloyd Wright to convey the inspiration behind the initial sketches for Falling Water (another masterpiece).

  21. #14
    nathanb
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    And I should have mentioned the apparent naming of Goldberg was almost certainly just a story fabricated much, much later after his death. The work was originally part of Bach's much larger and coherent design for his entire Clavier Ubung publication.

    The grand title page was almost certainly composed largely by Bach's own words,

    "Keyboard exercise, consisting of an ARIA with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals. Composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits, by Johann Sebastian Bach, composer for the royal court of Poland and the Electoral court of Saxony, Kapellmeister and Director of Choral Music in Leipzig. Nuremberg, Balthasar Schmid, publisher"
    Do Clavier Ubung III (The Organ Mass) next please, so I can truly feel comfortable saying "One of the very finest"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    And I should have mentioned the apparent naming of Goldberg was almost certainly just a story fabricated much, much later after his death. The work was originally part of Bach's much larger and coherent design for his entire Clavier Ubung publication.

    The grand title page was almost certainly composed largely by Bach's own words,

    "Keyboard exercise, consisting of an ARIA with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals. Composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits, by Johann Sebastian Bach, composer for the royal court of Poland and the Electoral court of Saxony, Kapellmeister and Director of Choral Music in Leipzig. Nuremberg, Balthasar Schmid, publisher"
    Perhaps you could say a bit more about this larger and more coherent design for his entire clavier Übung publication.

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