Author Topic: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano  (Read 2349 times)

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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« on: July 04, 2008, 11:19:43 AM »
After seeing The Goldberg Variations at New York City Ballet last weekend, I was inspired to take down the music from my shelf and stumble my way through them on the home piano. Many of them are quite hard, but a lot of the difficulty comes from all the hand-crossings in about 10 of the more virtuoso variations—which would have been far less taxing on a 2-manual harpsichord. This has led British composer Robin Holloway, for instance, to write his own set of variations on the Goldbergs, and in the early 1900s one hears of renditions on two pianos. The Hans Bischoff edition I have makes occasional efforts to minimize these hand-crossings, but I think a lot more can be done. My question is—before I write out these 10 variations longhand—does anyone know a good modern edition that reduces the hand-crossings so as to make the GV more practicable on a modern piano?
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

lukeottevanger

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Re: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2008, 11:47:03 AM »
Sorry, I can't help - but on the subject of Holloway's 'Gilded Goldbergs': have you heard them? He was writing them whilst I was at Cambridge, and I remember my housemate Huw Watkins coming back from lessons with Robin having just played through various of the variations with the composer as they appeared. They're a fantastic set, really - a multitude of imaginative homages, outré ideas and technical feats which leave me rather dazzled.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2008, 12:37:57 PM »
Sorry, I can't help - but on the subject of Holloway's 'Gilded Goldbergs': have you heard them? He was writing them whilst I was at Cambridge, and I remember my housemate Huw Watkins coming back from lessons with Robin having just played through various of the variations with the composer as they appeared. They're a fantastic set, really - a multitude of imaginative homages, outré ideas and technical feats which leave me rather dazzled.

I have heard of the Holloway but not heard it. Sounds very interesting.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

lukeottevanger

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Re: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2008, 12:57:59 PM »
I have heard of the Holloway but not heard it. Sounds very interesting.

YHM

scarpia

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Re: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2008, 09:35:01 PM »
You probably are aware that a recording is available on hyperion.  You may also be aware that single hyperion discs are now priced at $24 in the US, which means I will never buy another one as long as I live.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 03:44:08 AM »
You probably are aware that a recording is available on hyperion.  You may also be aware that single hyperion discs are now priced at $24 in the US, which means I will never buy another one as long as I live.


Amazon has it as a 2-CD set for $24.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Norbeone

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Re: Playing the Goldbergs on the piano
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 10:50:49 AM »
Yes, the Goldberg Variations is an extrememly difficult piece, and that includes many of the non-virtuoso movements. I can play of few of the easier movements fairly well (Aria, Var 1, Var 10, Var 25, Var 31 - oh and, 32, of course)   ;D

As for the rest, I always lose heart after a couple of minutes practice.