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BACH, JOHANN SEBASTIAN
Goldberg Variations: Aria With Diverse Variations BWV 988
Performed by Martin Schmeding on the great historical Gottfried Silbermann Organ (III/47, 1755), Cathedral Dresden (Catholic Court Church). "
'...the superb neatness, goodness and durability of its materials as well as its craftsmanship; the great simplicity of its inner construction; the uncommonly splendid and full intonation; and the extreme ease and comfort of its keyboards.'
These words of praise from Johann Friedrich Agricola, a pupil of Bach, referring to the organs of Gottfried Silbermann, attest to the exceptional quality of organ-building in Germany during the high-baroque period. The Organ of the Catholic Court Church, Dresden (Cathedral) has 47 stops on three manuals and pedal and is Silbermann's grandest organ. 1755 -- only a few years after Bach's death -- the Organ was consecrated. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played the organ in 1789 and praised all of its aspects in a letter to his wife. During the Second World War the organ's pipes were transferred for safe storage to the Marienstern monastery in 1944, soon before the bombing of Dresden. Since 2001 the Organ sounds again with its original pitch of 415 Hz. The Organ Version of the Goldberg Variations
'Aria with diverse variations for a harpsichord with two manuals'
(part 4 of the Clavier-Übung). -- Johann Sebastian Bach unequivocally sets forth his requirements on the title page of the first printed edition of the
: The harpsichord enables a large amount of variability in terms of technical and sonic possibilities (intersecting of pitches, changing of manuals, changing of timbres, changing of pitch through registration, etc). The arrangement for organ is, from the point of view of the formation of sound, a natural evolution from the original version for harpsichord. The intended effects and contrasts, often abrupt, that occur during the course of the work are rendered in a particularly plastic manner on the organ, through the multiplicity of stops at one's disposal." Stereo/multichannel hybrid SACD that can be played on any CD player.
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