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Jeremy Denk performs J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations - Variation No. 15. (NPR)

Jeremy Denk vs. The Goldberg Variations: Bach's 'Dark Jewel'

Apr 3, 2012

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Tom Huizenga

Bach's Goldberg Variations is sweet and beautiful music. But Jeremy Denk, from the comfort of his living room Steinway, digs deeper to focus on one of the Goldberg's "dark jewels," the Variation No. 15, which bisects the composition. Within the aching melody, Bach plays with mirrors. His four-note falling theme is immediately answered by the same thing, yet turned upside down and heading upward. In each measure, Denk says, "there's something we've already heard and something new we haven't yet heard." And that, he says, links the past and the present together.


Produced by Mito Habe-Evans and Tom Huizenga; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Production Assistance: Amanda Ameer and Anatasia Tsioulcas; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann and Keith Jenkins

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