Vari­a­tions on “Gold­berg”: Santa Fe Cham­ber Mu­sic Fes­ti­val

Pasatiempo - - RANDOM ACTS -

Bach’s “Gold­berg” Vari­a­tions is one of those pieces mu­sic lovers can’t visit of­ten enough. The vi­o­lin­ist and con­duc­tor Dmitry Sitkovet­sky was smit­ten with it as a young mu­si­cian, as­ton­ished by Glenn Gould’s 1981 pi­ano record­ing of the work. In 1984-85 Sitkovet­sky moved the work into his own per­form­ing reper­toire by tran­scrib­ing it for a trio of vi­o­lin, vi­ola, and cello. In 1992 he re-en­vi­sioned Bach’s vari­a­tions again, this time in a set­ting for full string or­ches­tra. In 2009, hav­ing played his string-trio ver­sion over a quar­ter of a cen­tury — and hav­ing lis­tened to oth­ers per­form it with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess — he re­vised his set­ting. His goal, he ex­plained, was to “re­turn to a sim­pler ver­sion,” to try “to in­ject some fresh, youth­ful energy to pro­pel the piece from the be­gin­ning to end.” This week, the Santa Fe Cham­ber Mu­sic Fes­ti­val presents vi­o­lin­ist Ben­jamin Beil­man, vi­o­list Lily Fran­cis, and cel­list Ron­ald Thomas in the piece. Cu­ri­ously, they will be play­ing Sitkovet­sky’s early ver­sion, from the mid-’80s, rather than the up­dated one he prefers. The con­cert takes place at 5 p.m. on Satur­day, July 25, in the St. Fran­cis Au­di­to­rium of the New Mexico Mu­seum of Art (107 W. Palace Ave.). Tick­ets ($10 to $45) can be ac­quired by call­ing 505-982-1890 or through www.santafecham­ber­mu­sic.com. — James Keller

Lily Fran­cis

Ben­jamin Beil­man

Ron­ald Thomas

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