by Mike Telin
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Aria with Thirty Variations — nicknamed (not by the composer) after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, the harpsichordist who was retained to play them on command for an insomniac patron — have been adapted by performers for many other instruments, most notably for the piano and most famously by Glenn Gould.
Joining a long list of arrangers, Parker Ramsay has transcribed the Variations for the modern pedal harp, an instrument for which he holds a master’s degree from Juilliard, in addition to a degree in history from Cambridge University, plus a master’s in historical performance (organ and harpsichord) and an artist diploma (organ) from Oberlin.
Ramsay returned to his undergraduate haunts to record the Goldbergs in Henry VI’s wonderful chapel at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was the first American to serve as organ scholar. Bach: Goldberg Variations was released in September of 2020 on King’s own label.
On Monday, March 21 at 7:30 pm, Parker Ramsay will perform his arrangement of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations in a Bach Birthday Concert to benefit Music and Art at Trinity Cathedral. Click here for more information. [Read more…]