Bach. Goldberg Variations. Variatio 13


October 15, 2016


Bach at my side, Goldberg Variations


Variation 13 is a gentle and richly decorated piece, written in 3/4 time. Most of the melody is written out using thirty-second notes, and ornamented with a few appoggiaturas (more frequent in the second section) and a few mordents.

This variation, in my opinion, has often been misunderstood. Most interpreters play it in a very slow tempo, forgetting the way it is actually written. This is very much a harpsichord piece, with 32nd notes, staccato markings, several ornamentations etc. All these elements suggest a relatively fast performance. The result of this is a very simple and light beauty, free of sentimentalism.