The Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach. Essay III. On the History of Interpretations


Trying to find and guess hidden meanings and symbolism some Bach scholars propone philosophical, religious, even esoteric explanations and comments. The author of this paper examines different speculative interpretations and classifies them into several groups. Earlier versions are connected with romantic view on Bach’s music. The G. Gould’s philosophical commentary opens a new era in understanding of the Goldberg Variations. Further scholars find here some culturological relations with previous epochs, architectural analogies, mathematical principles of organization. In addition various interpretations of Quodlibet are examined.