GOLDBERG VARIATIONS is a sensory staged concert. It is Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s picturesque poetry interweaved with Bach’s legendary masterpiece. Lying on soft mattresses with a firmament of a video scenography hovering above you, you are invited deep into the enchanting state between life and dream.
Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s new text “Goldberg Variations” is written directly for J. S. Bach’s timeless masterpiece bearing the same title. The depictive text reflects the captivating atmosphere of the music as well as the unsurpassably composed polyphonies and intricate systems of Bach’s score. Also, it is inspired of the story of a sleepless count.
280 years ago, Bach wrote the original Goldberg Variations – a compositional tour de force: One single harmonic progression in G-major is transformed into no less than 30 variations and an almost all-encompassing palette of human expressions. The piece is said to have been commissioned by the Count of Bohemia and admirer of Bach, Keyserlingk, who suffered from severe insomnia. When sleep would not come, the count’s court-musician, the young Mr. Goldberg, would divert with the beautiful variations.
Most likely, it is an anecdote, but a good one. For it suits the music, which long series of variations creates a state where time dissolves and dreams can flow freely. This state is the starting point for Andkjær Olsen’s maze of a multilayered, dreamy text floating in and out of the 30 variations.
On stage is actor Annika Johannessen and accordionist Andreas Borregaard in a visual space created by Julie Forchhammer and Mikkel Jensen. GOLDBERG VARIATIONS is an unusual, cross-aesthetic experience: a staged concert of harmony between Andkjær Olsen’s poetry and Bach’s legendary music, where interactions and new reflections emerge between words and notes.