Boston-based chamber ensemble The Sheffield Players makes their Athenaeum debut with a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Widely regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, the Goldbergs will be presented here in a transcription for wind trio. In addition to being an interesting departure from the original harpsichord version or a performance on a modern piano, the trio arrangement will highlight the different musical lines that each have their own individuality yet come together to form a coherent whole.
In this piece, which begins as a beautiful contemplative melody over a simple bass line, Bach explores a wealth of musical textures, influences, structures and moods. A virtuoso at the “puzzle solving” challenges posed by strict forms like canon, fugue, and variation, Bach set himself a stunning set of complex, interlocking challenges in the plan of the Goldbergs. The discussion portion of the evening will include a look at the “compositional clockwork” that is hidden within some of the most delightful and amazing music Bach wrote.
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