J.S. Bach’s Aria with Thirty Variations (Goldberg Variations). The impetus for tackling this work came during the summer of 2013 when I simply felt burdened to embark on this journey. Since I already had a concert in the works of music for violin and harpsichord, the Aria would have to wait. Finally, in March of 2014 I started working on the variations. By July I had invested a modest sixty hours of work on the project. The level of difficulty and time commitment required made me wonder whether I could actually complete it. My focus necessarily turned to two major summer events: the wedding of my daughter and a three-week trip to Europe, as I had been invited to present a paper at the Sixteenth Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music in Salzburg, Austria. During my travels, I spent five hours at the Bach museum in his birthplace of Eisenach, Germany. In one room, individual listening stations hung from the ceiling. Tears streamed down my face as I heard the Aria in that setting. In that moment all my reservations about the Thirty Variations melted away and I was determined to complete the trek I had begun.

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