By Elisabetta Guglielmin. By Johann Sebastian Bach. Classical. CD. Naxos #OC17111c. Published by Naxos (NX.OC17111C).
Bach's monumental Aria and Thirty Variations in G Major, BWV 988, commonly known as Goldberg Variations, are presented on this disc alongside two shorter works by the composer - Aria variata alla maniera italiana in A Minor, BWV 989, and the partially completed Aria and Variations in C Minor, BWV 991, in the version completed by harpsichordist Alessandro Simonetto. Together, the three sets trace Bach's experience with the genre of the variations throughout the span of his compositional career: the virtuosic Aria variata alla maniera italiana is a relatively early work, from 1709; the fragment of what promised to be a complex set of variations in C minor, catalogued as BWV 991, is found in Anna Magdalena Bach's Notebook, which was compiled in 1722; and the Goldberg Variations, one of the pinnacles of the keyboard literature and possibly one of greatest artistic manifestations of the human spirit, were first published in 1741.