SACRED MUSIC HOURS: THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS
August 8, Tuesday
St. Casimir’s Church, 19:00
ABRAM BEZUIJEN (organ, Norway)
Lithuanian audiences are already well aware of him as a member of the Nordic Organduo, but this time Abram Bezuijen will be performing in concert as a soloist. The organist will perform The Goldberg Variations by the Baroque genius, Johann Sebastian Bach.
The cycle originally written for harpsichord in 1741 consists of more than 30 variations of one aria, taking more than one hour without any intervals. The actual performance of this work is one of the greatest musical challenges, demanding particular concentration of the soloist, masterful skills and experience. According to the legend, three figures played a part in the emergence of the variations: Count Kaiserling, who was plagued by insomnia, his private harpsichord player Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, and of course Bach himself. When Count Kaiserling could not fall asleep at night, he would order Goldberg to play for him. In order to ensure his musician’s skills would improve, the count sent him off to practice with Bach. Learning about the count’s insomnia problem, Bach decided to help by writing a new work. According to the composer, the variations were intended as a musical way of “counting sheep” (in the most respectful sense), and were thus ideal for someone suffering from insomnia. It is alleged that the idea worked, and the composer was generously rewarded for his concern.
This is of course just an amusing story, but we hope you won’t be just counting sheep at the concert and instead enjoying the virtuoso playing of Abram Bezuijien, while floating in the microcosmos of Bach’s music.
Programme features Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations.