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A walk in the shadow
of the
"Goldberg Variations" of Johann Sebastian Bach

Introduction by the Authors

The 'Goldberg Variations' one of the greatest and deepest works in the entire western music literature are a true garden of delight one can explore and lose oneself in while finding the right stimulations for reflections that go beyond the feelings evoked by the simple flowing and combining of sounds, spreading out onto several aspects of life, nature, history in short, of the human condition in general.

Polifilo Garden

                            Polifilo garden ('Hipnerotomachia', XV sec.)

This book intends to be a walk through these paths, a way to explore this fantasy world we chose to roam in total freedom, without strict patterns to be set 'a priori', going in and out of the structures at times we have decided to build for ourselves: thus, we have set out on a journey which, at the beginning, we did not exactly know where would have led us to, sometimes also finding ourselves walking on paths we had already seen, but always with a different point of view derived by our having been there before, and therefore enriching us and demanding to go back in order to finally encompass in a clearer overall view all the reflections which, little by little, were crystallising in our mind and in our words.

Taking some liberties, particularly as regards the way the subject was formulated, has allowed us to move freely, drawing parallels between different worlds and situations with an attitude we set out to be to use a words that is currently quite fashionable 'cross-disciplinary': gaining experience in fields which may seem far and independent spurs curiosity and generates the opportunity for wider and more open reflections, without leading to the dead ends of prejudices, narrow-mindedness, and exaltation of ideas which end up being considered the only possible reality. This can happen when one lingers too much in 'specialised' situations, but is not our way of living and facing problems, however big or small; therefore, in the book we have tried to express the views we formed in fields that are only apparently distant from each other, safe in the knowledge that in this way we would have been able to communicate our thoughts with greater clarity, as well as to better explain the considerations and concepts that were gradually being generated: thus, we started from the 'Goldberg Variations', we traced them back to Bach, to music and to the creation of a work of art in general, and then went back to the starting point the 'Goldberg Variations' but throughout this journey we never forgot our interest for figurative arts, architecture, photography, scientific and philosophical matters and Nature, which includes and encompasses everything and of which we are but a small part.

  Johann Sebastian Bach

Monument to Bach playing
an imaginary organ
at Arnstad, where he lived
from 1703 to 1707.

This book was conceived and written mixing our thoughts together, comparing them according to our own views and personal experiences, and to the different ways we have to face problems, influenced by our life stories and lifestyle: this has allowed us to find ways which, had we been on our own, would have been much more difficult and long to perceive, see and follow. From a practical point of view, all this has also affected the way to develop our work, with evenings spent discussing and taking notes, drafting the text and subsequently correcting and amending it both in terms of content and style, always going on together, debating and confronting each other in the subject matter which was taking shape and getting clearer first of all within ourselves. The only things that existed before this work was conceived and written are the 'tables of consonance' of the canons, taken from previous studies by Guido Donati and photographs, inserted in various places to reinforce some concepts, by Pier Paolo Strona.


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