as a church organist, I’m up early on Sundays every week. I wish I had the luxury of really experiencing a Sabbath as a day of rest; someday I will have a spiritual practice which includes more rich tradition, including candle light, prayer, and meditation. However, as it is for now, I enjoy my duties as an organist, as I really get to experience worship through music, which is unbelievable. This morning, I will play a few of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as service parts (though nowhere near as fast as Gould did!). I love playing these and thinking about the history of the composition; Kirkpatrick’s account claims it was written for Goldberg to perform as a court musician for Count Kaiserling to help ease his insomnia!(1938). It certainly hasn’t made me feel more sleepy, but whatever works, I guess. If anything, it’s spritely nature is quite invigorating for me!??? When I consider that this type of variation was based on variations over the bass line instead of on the melody, I realize that one of the reasons I love music so much is that it clearly is endless- I mean, as a composer, one could run miles with creating variations of this type without others even recognizing it aurally. It’s genius! It also ties into Hacking’s theories about fugues and transient psychosis; that perhaps the fleeting melody that is chased through the fugues (often augmented, diminished, contrapuntally, and/or transposed) was a description of the changes occuring in consciousness of multiperspectival nature. restless? come to think of it, the variations offer very little rests, (break in the music) and perhaps later on today, I will count them and report back.
Kirkpatrick, Ralph (1938). Edition of the Goldberg Variations. New York/London: G. Schirmer, 1938