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 Post subject: Goldberg Variations
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:37 pm 
Hello! I'm thinking of learning the Goldberg Variations... Are they as difficult as everyone says they are? I'm a teenager, but I'm fairly advanced. Has anyone here mastered them? If so, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9922
Location: Netherlands
Yes they are very difficult indeed. Especially the variations intended to be played on 2 keyboards (of the 2-clavier harpsichord) present some extreme challenges, more so than in any Bach work. But also the apparently 'simple' variations are much harder to get into the brain and fingers than you'd think at first sight. Lastly, it takes enormous determination and concentration to study them and perform them as a whole (especially if you want to observe all the repeats ;-) ) This used to be territory of the most seasoned pianists only, but these days quite some young pianists tackle them, which amazes me a bit.

Whether 'fairly advanced' is good enough for the Goldbergs, I'm not sure. Can you do, for example, the 3-part inventions effortlessly ? That would be a good basis but then it will be several levels up in complexity and virtuosity yet. I play them but have far from 'mastered' them - that would take many months of grim determination...

Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer

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