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Olafsson Vikingur © Ari Magg

Klavierabend Víkingur Ólafsson

Bach: Goldberg-Variationen

Saturday 4 November 2023
19:30 – ca. 20:45
Großer Saal



Víkingur Ólafsson, Klavier


Johann Sebastian Bach

Aria mit verschiedenen Veränderungen. Clavier-Übung IV BWV 988 »Goldberg-Variationen« (1741–1742)


Presented by Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft

Bach as a multiverse

Many pianists dream about it for decades, but only a few dare to take on this project: Bach's »Goldberg Variations«. This undisputed masterpiece of piano art is a »multiverse« in itself: a complex, almost fractal structure of 30 variations and an aria at the beginning and recurring at the end, which in turn can be further grouped and relate to each other, is as much a feature of the work as an incredible emotional depth. »Bach is a free country«, a wise person once said to Víkingur Ólafsson: the award-winning individualist has remembered this. For the astonishingly rich, ambiguous music of the »Goldberg Variations« contrasts with a rather sparse notation that raises many questions about the art of ornamentation. How did Bach himself ornament? What was notation, what was improvisation? What part does the imagination play in this elaborate work? How does one deal with it as a post-creative artist, as an interpreter? Icelandic-born Víkingur Ólafsson also approached composition with these and other questions in mind. And in this way he has approached a timeless masterpiece, which in our and Víkingur Ólafsson's imagination can be a resounding cathedral as well as a blossoming oak tree with branches that spread out and branch out in many different ways.


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