Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Zhu Xiao-Mei is a world-class Chinese pianist whose story is told in the touching 2007 memoir, ‘The Secret Piano.’

Zhu Xiao-Mei spent 5 years in Mao’s labour camps during the cultural revolution but emerged to continue her dream of becoming a concert pianist — a dream she later realised.

As a specialist in the music of J.S Bach, in 2014 she was invited to perform in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig — the church where Bach himself worked for 23 years. She was the first pianist to perform in this church (Bach was composing for the Harpsichord). Here’s an except of her playing in the church —what a concert it must have been:

The ‘Goldberg Variations’ are a collection of an aria and 30 variations composed on the same bass line. Bach is considered one of the greatest composers of all time and these variations showcase his writing for the keyboard.

For a closer look into the ‘genius’ of the ‘Goldberg Variations’ the ever-brilliant Nahre Sol recently published this video.


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