Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Goldberg Variations BWV 988, Clavierübung IV (1742)
transcribed for and performed on guitar by JÓZSEF EÖTVÖS
by Michael Stitt, lutenist / Australia
- Every very once and while a work of art is readapted - transformed from its original form context, to become an even greater interpretation of art. Such is my affection of Jozsef Eotvos's transcription and CD recording of Bach's masterpiece for the keyboard - The Goldberg variations (BWV 988).
- Eotvos has achieved a major task which many guitarists have ignored or feared - to transcribe Bach's famous variations to solo guitar. We should not ignore this tremendous accomplishment because for someone to undertake this task, has required courage and a deep insight into the structure of the music, and the ability to draw out the essential qualities of Bach's counterpoint and harmonic strengths. That Jozsef Eotvos has succeeded in this is no minor accomplishment, indeed I would go so far as to say that this is the greatest solo transcription for the solo classical guitar since the Chaconne, and the guitar now has another major work added to its rather meager repertoire of works by major composers. The inspiration to undertake the transcription is made clear in the Preface to the score published by Chanterelle:
- "The idea of transcribing the Bach's Goldberg varaitions goes back to 1987. At that time I had been listening to Glen Gould's piano recording, and I became convinced that this work would sound well on the guitar.... I decided to try making the `impossible possible for a solo guitar..."
- Eotvos writes:
- "...Bach transcribed his own works for a variety of instruments or instrumental settings and reworked them accordingly. As each instrument has its own characteristics, transcribing a work also changes the character of the work. So much so that transcribing almost creates a new work. A transcription should create a true work for the guitar and not merely an imitation of the original.."