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Tag: Claude Monet

Cyprien Katsaris in Budapest

Katsaris-Cyprien-01

       Cyprien Katsaris

               ________

if there’s only one concert you see 
this week – I would’ve said this year 
but I have way too many irresistible 
concerts to promote – make it this 
one, like none I’ve ever seen before, 
Cyprien Katsaris, who wowed us in 
my last encomium, delivers, not one, 
but two concertos, when emotionally 
I can usually deal with only one

but you can pause between the pieces, 
like I did, to wipe a tear or two away 
after the adagios, which remind me,
always, of my beloved, John

but that’s another story

Katsaris starts with an improvisation,
which he elucidates as an art form 
much more expertly than I would, 
then delivers stunning rendition of
his mastery of that gift 

though I couldn’t identify the first part
of it, the melting melody in the last 
section of his homage to, essentially, 
the Romantic Period, rushed back 
memories for me of a piece I could 
never forget, the music from Fellini’s 
heartbreaking masterpiece La Strada 
– listen, listen – right out of Romantic 
Period idioms, its very story evenlike 
Dickens’ Oliver Twist“, his Little Nell 
from the The Old Curiosity Shop“, 
staples of my adolescence, married  
to a nearly mythic lyrical invention 

let me add that improvisations have 
been an integral part of concertos for 
a very long time, the cadenzas, an 
interpolation by the performing artist, 
hir riff, a strutting of hir stuff, late  
in the, usually final, movement, a 
consequence, incidentally, of the 
more forward, individualistic, 
18th-Century progression towards 
individual rights, some left to the 
performing artist, but many 
prescribed by the composer himself,
where, here, I must, gender sensitive 
myself, unceremoniously interject to 
explain my deference to the
designation above, himself“, to male 
merely composers, who were then the 
only ones, however culturally ignobly, 
to nevertheless shape our quite, 
think, extraordinary musical trajectory, 
for better, of course, or for worse

in this instance, I suspect Katsaris 
wrote his own cadenzas for the 
Mozart, notice his arm at the end of 
the first movement fly up in an 
especial transport, and in the last 
movement, watch his very 
exuberance mark the spot, but 
couldn’t put it past Mozart to have 
written something so historically 
visionary

Bach, incidentally, wasn’t doing 
cadenzas, so don’t look for them 

the two concertos that follow the 
improvisation, Bach’s, my favourite 
of his – you’ll understand why when 
you hear it – then Mozart’s 21st – 
everyone’s favourite – are both 
played transcendentally 

consider the difference in period, 
the earlier Baroque, with Bach’s 
notes skipping along inexorably,
the pace required by the 
harpsichord, which didn’t have 
hold pedals to allow notes to 
resonate, the music moves along
therefore nearly minimalistic tracks, 
a pace, and musical motif, that don’t 
stop, they keep on chugging, until 
they reach their destination, their,
as it were, station, or even their

stasis

Mozart’s music is as effervescent,
but conforms to a different cadence,
where a theme is presented, then a
musical, and contrasting, second,
with recapitulation, sometimes
merely partial, which is to say that
the call and response dynamic of 
the dance, or for that matter, by 
extension, modern ballads, is  
being established, codified, and 
elucidated

an era has intervened

then as an encore, Katsaris delivers,
not a cream puff, but Liszt, of all 
people, we’re used to performers
giving us trifles at this point, but not
Katsaris

then to top it all off, he plays the Chopin 
you thought you’d never ever hear again, 
but here immaculate and utterly 
inspirational

the orchestra alone performs after the 
intermission, works by Ravel and Bizet,
surprisingly similar, I thought, the two
composers, in their musical idiom, the 
use of the winds as metaphors, for 
instance, for originality, eccentricity, 
unmitigated poetry within the context 
of what is not unnatural

neither is either composer adverse to 
atonality, they work in textures, instead 
of melodies, all of which is very 
Impressionistic, see of course Monet
and others for historical reference

did I say I want to be Cyprien Katsaris 
when I grow up, well there, it’s said,
he’s lovely 


R ! chard

on art, its purpose

poet-with-flower-2008-jpgblog

                                Poet With Flower (2008)

                                          Stefan Caltia

                                                 _____

wherefore art, I’ve long and often wondered,
with only a wink to Juliet’s Romeo, for my
question dug deeper, why, indeed, itself art

we build our souls on the stories we’ve 
heard, the impressions we’ve received
from voices that spoke directly to our 
senses, painters with paint, musicians
with music, writers with words, poets 
with poems

it started with fairy tales, which told of
right and wrong, good and bad, courage,
kindness, responsibility, and dire 
consequences for discord

Biblical stories also took up a lot of my own
childhood, Jesus, Adam and Eve, Moses
and the Ten Commandments, this last 
reinforced by Cecil B. DeMille’s epic

but soon enough it was Oliver TwistLittle
Nell, and by an inescapable authorial leap, 
since these were all by an irresistible 
Charles Dickens for a guy my age, Sydney
Carton, who valiantly stands in for his
friend, Charles Darnay, at the guillotine, a 
quantum, even existential, leap from 
Peter Pan and Mary Poppins 

though I had the good fortune to learn to 
read and write music as a boy, play music, 
learn about Bach, Brahms and Beethoven, 
it didn’t take anyone else much more than
their enthusiasm to see what the Beatles
were similarly doing, the Rolling Stones, 
the Supremes, they were not only singing, 
but making history, shaping it, and us, we 
followed the questions they rose, their 
responses, the effects upon ourselves
for nothing is considered until it’s 
mentioned, spoken, made clear, and they
were those prophets

the same goes for art, we see as we see
cause Monet, Picasso, Warhol showed 
us how to see, what to look at

and of course poets, Shakespeare, 
RostandDanteGoethe, to inform, each,
their individual language, and culture

I have been Philip CareyScarlett O’Hara, 
Blanche DuboisGary Cooper in High
Noon“, both Martha and George in 
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf“, lately 
I’ve been even Hank Williams

as Babette would say, a French doll who 
gets abducted in Raggedy Ann and Andy:
A Musical Misadventure“, an animated 
movie from the Seventies, – oo aahrr yoo 

Richard

psst: all of them have been me too,
      incidentally

art in evolution‏ – from Monet to Wolf Kahn

Brain writes

“I would never have guessed that Wolf Kahn was a student of Hoffman. Yet you can see the influence in the colour choice and lack of detail. It somehow reminds me of impressionism. The child of Hoffman and Monet. Especially the painting “Subtle Pink, 2000″. It reminds me of Monet’s painting series “Poplars”.

For the record, I prefer Kahn over Hoffman.”

Wolf Kahn "Subtle Pink" (2000)

Subtle Pink (2000)

Wolf Kahn

______

Claude Monet "Poplars at Giverny"

Poplars at Giverny” (1887)

Claude Monet

________

I would also compare his “Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea

Wolf Kahn - "Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea" (1996)

Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea (1996)

Wolf Kahn

______

to Monet‘s Impression, Sunrise

Claude Monet - "Impression, Sunrise"

Impression, Sunrise (1873)

Claude Monet

__________

what do you think

Richard

psst: art, like novels, has its templates

“Monet Refuses the Operation” – Lisel Mueller‏

Claude Monet - "Rouen Cathedral, Magic in Blue"

Rouen Cathedral, Magic in Blue (1894)

Claude Monet

______

up until now I’ve presented dramatic
monologues
, but only to music, on my
blog
, referring to Robert Browning as
their originator, but not ever producing
any representative spoken work, never
mind any of, themselves, the poet’s
seminal masterpieces, My Last
Duchess
“, “Fra Lippo Lippi“, “How
They Brought the Good News from
Ghent to Aix
“,
for instance, which,
granted, can be daunting now in their
breadth and erudition, the Romantics
didn’t have television, they had to
entertain themselves

here’s a poem for our time, written
in 1996, only two decades ago, gasp,
Lisel Mueller imagines herself Claude
Monet
, an easier concept, after all,
who’s been to Ghent or Aix, why
would anyone want to run there,
whereas Monet‘s another story, who
doesn’t today know Monet

Monet was blind at the end of his life,
one learns from the website where I
got this
, a blog with plenty of breadth
and already considerable erudition, he
received corrective surgery to be able
to continue with his work

there was, however, a limit

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Lisel Mueller

Richard

psst: thanks Brain for this beautiful poem

my Amsterdam, November 7, 2013‏

    Canal in Amsterdam - Claude Monet

                                      Canal in Amsterdam(1874) 

 
                                          Claude Monet
 
                                                 ____
 
 
in the morning we sit by the large
paned double windows that frame
the masterpiece that sits before our
eyes, beyond a little cement and
wrought iron bridge that crosses
our canal another canal runs 
perpendicular and away from us
between a row on either side of 
trees, their leaves pale yellow
mostly, from late fall, with patches
here and there, like incidental
brushstrokes, of less vivid, or
weathered, if you like, greens 
 
cobblestone paths along either bank,
charming but precarious, serve
pedestrians, cyclists in their dozens,
and the occasional adventurous car 
willing to tackle the more lackadaisical
pace and unpredictability of bicycles,
people and everywhere watery
roadblocks, Renaissance gingerbread
houses hold the fort on either side of
the canvas, geometrically ceding to,
and doing a master class in,
perspective
 
in the distance, of course, the obligatory
steeple, infallably sounding on the quarter
hour
 
   
this morning a flight of what looked
to me like doves, so I’ll call them
doves, to touch up anyway with white
and peaceful thoughts my story, cast
magic by fretting in flocks vertiginously
between the parallel lines of trees, just 
ahead of our front row seats   
 
a symphony, I said to my mom, though
for the birds it must’ve been tumultuous,
a  rash, maybe, anthropomorphismbut
their tumult has only ever translated for
me as immutably grace
 
people were taking pictures with their
smartphones, whirling skyward to the
avian poetry
 
we counted our blessings as we 
breakfasted on coffee, bread and
cheese  
 
 
later we’re off to the Rijksmuseum 
to witness other visual wonders
 
 
Richard