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Johann Sebastian Bach

The work called Variation in A minor for keyboard, BWV 989, also known as the Aria Variata "alla Maniera Italiana" by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), first appeared in the Andreas Bach Book, a collection of keyboard works compiled by Johann Christoph Bach, Bach's oldest brother, for his youngest son, Andreas Bach. A set of ten variations on what appears to be an original theme, the Aria Variata, like Bach's last set of keyboard variations, the Goldberg Variations, features a return of the theme at the work's close. And like the Goldberg Variations, the Aria Variata uses not the theme itself but the harmonic structure of the theme as the basis of the variations. The theme itself is simple and set as a chorale, while the variations that follow are virtuoso in technique and bravura in intent, typical of the young Bach at his most flamboyant.