Listening to Goldberg Variations
Yuji Takahashi

We check a few points about this album of aria with variations.

If we can say women sing and dance but men play instruments in many cultures in the world, then it shows the division of body and mind and the separation of emotion and technics. Variations change an emotional tune into abstract logic through playing skill. Music in the West elaborated men's voices into a structured resonance. This skill is called counterpoint in the architectual acoustics of churches built of stone. Musical sounds without voice outside stone buildinga would be integrated through the use of the interval of fifth discovered in the Renaissance.

In the days of Bach keyboard instruments were not only as continuo instrument supplying the bass and background color but became the means for composers to conceive music as an independent solo instrument. fingerings and the playing style were changed to obtain homogenious tones. Operating on this instrument Bach wrote <Welltempered Clavier><Goldberg Variations>and <Art of Fugue> having the Encyclopaedia of secular musics inview.
Still there were neither actual equal temperament of twelve nor the modern piano yet manufactured. Music nevertheless was trying to grasp of the World through the Enlightenment. It was an expression of Cilivization of greed supported by colonialism and slavery starting after the 17th century. The world cannot yet find the way out from this coersive globalization.

Goldberg Variations from an exemplar on paper entered in concert repertoire in the second half of the 20th century. The trend started from North America and spread over Europe and Japan. It may not be accidental as the flow of the neoliberalist market economy at the same period. Now almost every year a new CD of this composition is comsumed in the market. Each one is selling the personality authenticity or virtuosity, but remembered only until the next CD is issued.

What can I do by joining this competition? Well, to make music return to the soil of paradox of the period , resisting the patriarchal orthodoxy of Bach the Father of Modern Music. And relaxing the harmonic steady steps embroidered with even flow of notes, finding free rhythmic breathing hidden inside the risky balance of integration and divergence and let each of short phrases integrated in the flow open to unfixed interplay of tonal shades, without however falling into the surface ornamentations and improvisations but into the dialogue of multi-layered space and multi-dimensional time free from the unilateral governance of composition and the written notes.

A CD is provisional shape of one time through which the process of performing would try to distancing itself from Bach. Taking the music apart ,which was originally published for the education of keyboard playing, regarding as a random collection of deformed pearls that is the etymology of baroque, every performance looks for an unknown music through the tones as if touvhed for the first time. Listening music is discovering a reality in a diffused reflection.

This is the half of the fact. The other half is an wandering adventure of capricious fingers, a story of the present East Asia in a dialogue with the world of dead where Bach is in the different century different culture.

(from the program notes for the CD and concerts, 2004)



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