November 26, 2016
CategoryBach at my side, Goldberg Variations
Aria da capo is a note for note repeat of the aria at the beginning. Williams writes that the work’s “elusive beauty … is reinforced by this return to the Aria. … no such return can have a neutral Affekt. Its melody is made to stand out by what has gone on in the last five variations, and it is likely to appear wistful or nostalgic or subdued or resigned or sad, heard on its repeat as something coming to an end, the same notes but now final.”
The returning of the same music after the experience of the full cycle of the Goldberg Variations is like magic, for it is easy to feel the realization of a circle and at the same time a particularly deep involvement of feelings. Even the same notes don’t sound the same as in the beginning, because our ears are different. This aria in the end gives to the listener the sensation of finding a familiar land where to rest and every consonance sounds sweeter than in the beginning.
This is the only piece of the whole set without repeats, because it represents a “repeat” by itself, since it is the repetition of the initial aria.