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Johann Sebastian Bach`s “Goldberg Variations” for Orchestra

The Goldberg Variations BWV 988 of Johann Sebastian Bachs are simply the unbeaten summit of the baroque art of variation for any musician who confronts structural questions of music extending beyond its mere beauty. Not least for this reason, there are two attempts in our catalogues to adapt the famous piano/harpsichord work for larger ensembles. The violinist Dmitri Sitkovetsky has already contributed a version of Goldberg Variations for string orchestra that is frequently played. Now Jochen Neurath has completed a version for orchestra that will be premiered by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under the direction of Stefan Asbury on 14 June 2012 in Leipzig. It is already possible now to report that the Dutch premiere of this work will be given on 4 March 2013 in Groningen, at which Stefan Asbury will conduct the Noord Niederlands Orkest. Jochen Neurath has also adapted Bach`s “Art of Fugue” for orchestra.

The Goldberg Variations bear their name because of an anecdote the veracity of which has not been one hundred percent proven. Allegedly, the talented harpsichordist Johann Gottlieb Goldberg is supposed to have encouraged the composition of these variations and played them for his employer, who was suffering from insomnia. In the first edition of the work of 1741, the Goldberg Variations were still designated as “Clavier Exercise consisting of an ARIA with various variations for clavicimbal with 2 manuals.”

14 June 2012
Bachfest, Gewandhaus, Great Concert Hall, 8 PM
(Introduction to the concert: 7:15 PM)
World premiere: Johann Sebastian Bach / Jochen Neurath
”Goldberg Variations“ BWV 988, arranged for orchestra
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Stefan Asbury (direction)


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