“For Wittgenstein was probably the most musical, and certainly the most musically educated (…) and directly identified one of the problems in the philosophy of music that is not a general problem of aesthetics: the problem of musical understanding”. (R. Scruton, Understating Music. Philosophy and Interpretation, Continuum, London & New York 2009, p. 33).
“As Wittgenstein rightly reminds us, we cannot find the meaning of a piece of music by looking inwards. Nevertheless, even if we are looking outwards, our ability to understand what we are looking at depends on what is happening within. (…) We must see music as an act of communication, which crucially depends upon placing within the listener’s first-person perspective a state of mind that is not his own”. (R. Scruton, Understanding Music, p. 42)
These deep reflections of the English philosopher and writer are at the origin of the layout of this musical program, which sets pages of romantic authors such as Chopin and Schumann, among the most “abstract” – in a sense – of the musicians, Bach, and one of the most “modern” but at the same time “classic” composers at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Debussy. In the first-person perspective, in fact, emerges, on the one hand, in Bach, the expression of pain, which becomes a christic suggestion of that “contemplated pain” that makes the thought run to the Deposition of Christ in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, while on the other hand, the titles of Debussy’s Preludes (originally placed by the author on the pieces themselves) evoke not so much the description or sound imitation of an event of nature (Des pas sur la neige) or a poetic tale (La Cathédrale engloutie), as the mental state of the composer who expresses in sounds what he saw with the eyes of the soul.
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