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The “Goldberg” Variations are without a doubt the most important piano cycle of the 18th century. Only Beethoven's “Diabelli” Variations from the 19th century can be compared to them as far their far-reaching significance is concerned. Bach's own manuscript might not have survived; but the corrected first printing of the “Aria mit verschiedenen Veraenderungen vors Clavicimbal mit 2 Manualen” (thus the title) has done so. This first edition serves as the primary source for our edition; furthermore the musical text was compared to other sources as; for example; with Bach's own record of the “Aria” (not yet referred to as such) in the little notebook for Anna Magdalena .
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