Goldberg’s Insomnia.


Bach, J S:

Performed by Andrés Alberto Gómez, harpsichord.

Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756) would have never imagined that his name would be linked in history to the ‘Aria’ and the 30 variations composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, and known as the “Goldberg Variations”.

In the early 1800’s, a man by the name of Forkel tells in his story that a Count Hermann Carl Von Keyserlingk (1696-1764) needed some “soft and lively” pieces so that his young harpsichordist, J. G. Goldberg would be able to play them during the long sleepless nights that the Count experienced.

Forkel writes:

“Since then, the Count did not mention them with another name other that ‘his variations’. He never got tired of hearing them and during much time, when sleepless nights arrived, he always said the same thing: Come on, my dear Goldberg; play for me some of my variations”.

Keyserlingk rewarded Bach in a generous way with a gold glass containing a hundred of Louis d´or.

Undoubtedly, this is a very tender story but actually it is distant from reality and likely closer to a legend.
What is certain is the fact that Bach aspired to the post of composer of the court of the King of Poland and elector of Saxony, and Keyserlingk, who was minister of the elector of Saxony in Dresden at that time, supported Bach´s aspirations to the title. His sponsorship was a resounding success due to the fact that Bach obtained the awaited post in 1736.

Here is “VARIACIONES GOLDBERG”, as performed by Andrés Alberto Gómez, clavecín.



And here is Andrés Alberto Gómez with some more music by Bach:



Tags: Johann Sebastian Bach, Goldberg Variations, Count Hermann Carl Von Keyserlingk