Those of you who have followed Alisdair Kitchen’s daily dose through the month of August, prepare for deprivation. The rest of you, prepare to receive the full, commentated cycle in a single, integral site.
Aria (da capo)
Bach brings this epic work full circle by ending where we began, with a reprise of the Aria. There are few effects in music more magical than the sound of that immortal melody emerging from the final chord of the Quodlibet, and it is a transfixing (dare I even say spiritual) experience to hear the Aria again, transfigured by the life-knowledge of having traversed thirty miraculous variations. The very essence of the theme has by now sunk deep into our subconscious, with the result that each note sounds deliciously inevitable.
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