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Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
#2548420 06/11/16 03:20 AM
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Can someone please list the Goldberg Variations (and aria) in order of difficulty?

I know there is not only one correct answer, but any rough ranking is better than nothing.


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2548465 06/11/16 09:14 AM
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Easiest: the aria
Next easiest: the last five variations
Next easiest: the first five variations
Hardest: everything else!


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
hreichgott #2548470 06/11/16 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hreichgott
Easiest: the aria
Next easiest: the last five variations
Next easiest: the first five variations
Hardest: everything else!

Excellent! smile


SRF
Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2548489 06/11/16 10:29 AM
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it is quite a good classification... except for
the quodlibet, variation 30. I would put that at the same level as the first five


More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise.
Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2548522 06/11/16 12:56 PM
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Yes, we all know it's a silly question, etc. But I worked on the Goldbergs for a year, and I remember finding it fun at the time to think about such things.

So here's my ranking. Very arbitrary and personal. (For instance, 15 took a long time to get into my head, whereas 25 came very naturally.) If I did it tomorrow it would be a little different. Also greatly dependent on how fast you play each variation.

7
19
18
27
aria

2
4
10
14
9

22
23
30
6
21

29
13
25
1
15

28
11
24
12
17
8

5
16
3
20
26



Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2548549 06/11/16 03:10 PM
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Also the new sheet music version of the 1981 Glenn Gould recording is now available and has recently been recommended by the NY Times. I received mine on Wednesday and have reviewed it. The left hand page is the original score and the matched right hand page is Maestro Gould's interpretation represented on the sheet music. It a fascinating juxtaposition and will ample learning opportunities.

Here is the sheet music website offering.
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/glenn-gould-s-goldberg-variations-sheet-music/20160852?kw=&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CjwKEAjw7e66BRDhnrizmcGc8VcSJABR6gaRy8O3_scc8HpaiUvSmvwyEY9EJV1CekEpgZhAZq82OBoCebvw_wcB&d=sem_sidecar&d=sem_sidecar&popup=false&popup=false&utm_source=google&mkwid=s|pcrid|86117963782&ac=1&country_code=USA&sc_intid=20160852&scid=scplp14023478


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2548562 06/11/16 04:36 PM
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Also the new sheet music version of the 1981 Glenn Gould recording is now available and has recently been recommended by the NY Times. I received mine on Wednesday and have reviewed it. The left hand page is the original score and the matched right hand page is Maestro Gould's interpretation represented on the sheet music. It a fascinating juxtaposition and will ample learning opportunities.

Here is the sheet music website offering.
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/glenn-gould-s-goldberg-variations-sheet-music/20160852?kw=&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CjwKEAjw7e66BRDhnrizmcGc8VcSJABR6gaRy8O3_scc8HpaiUvSmvwyEY9EJV1CekEpgZhAZq82OBoCebvw_wcB&d=sem_sidecar&d=sem_sidecar&popup=false&popup=false&utm_source=google&mkwid=s|pcrid|86117963782&ac=1&country_code=USA&sc_intid=20160852&scid=scplp14023478


Serge P. Marinkovic, MD

Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2548590 06/11/16 07:20 PM
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It's rather easy, both technically and musically. Good material for beginner students.

Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2550182 06/17/16 06:25 PM
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I've been studying these for the past couple of years, they will require a lifetime of practice but I never tire of them.
Alexander Tharaud, the young French pianist released his interpretation last year. He took a sabbatical year of his concert performing career to devote his time wholly to the Goldbergs: https://youtu.be/pnKduXJA8XY
My order of difficulty is ranked as follows:
Doing: Aria, 1,2,3,4,5,25,26,27,28,29,30
Can Do: 6,9,10,13,15,18,19,22
Do-able: 7,12,16,21,24
Very difficult: 8,11,17,23,14,20

The hand crossing ones are the most difficult, although there are certain editions which negate the hand crossings and make for easier playing (even Andras Schiff "cheats" in Variation 23!)

I can now play 28 of the variations! grin Not perfectly mind you, but can comfortably practice at my own pace. Only Variations 14 and 20 are left.


Estonia 190 #6209
Working on:
Liszt: Chasse Neige
Re: Goldberg Variations - Order of difficulty
pinkfloydhomer #2550377 06/18/16 05:53 PM
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the trouble is: none are terribly difficult , the whole set is inhumanely impossibly hard, this has nothing to do with technique, just with the capability to keep 85 minutes of heavenly music worthwile for an audience


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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