Posts Tagged ‘Vivaldi’

The world has moved to a position of extreme danger, far more perilous than its normal state which is often pretty damn dangerous. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

As you can see, I want to rant and rage this morning.

But I won’t. I will try to find something peaceful, something soothing.

Maybe something from Vivaldi? And since I am looking out the window of the studio and there is a light coating of snow on the ground and the sky is a cold and dull gray, how about the Winter section of his concerto, The Four Seasons?

This works for me.

Here’s a performance from renowned violinist Cynthia Miller Freivogel and the Baroque music group, Voices of Music.

Try to find some peace in this piece and have a great day.


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Really busy this morning as I try to wrap up everything for my Truth and Belief show that opens June 2 at the Principle Gallery. As it always is at this point, a week from delivering the show, there is still a lot to do including what seems like a million little, nit-picky details, those small touches that I find make a big difference.

So this morning I am just throwing out a lovely short video of the paintings of pointillist painter Georges Seurat set to the music of Vivaldi.  Both always strike me as rock solid so I figure that you can’t go wrong either way. It’s a good and relaxing way to kick off an overly active Saturday.

So take just a few minutes and relax in the relaxing colors of Seurat and music of Vivaldi.

Have a great day.

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In the town that I call home there is the local theatre and center for the performing arts, the Clemens Center, that underwent a remarkable renovation a few years back and emerged as a spectacular and beautiful showcase.  It has real presence as you sit and take in the restored mural above the stage or admire the intricate carvings that form a frame  around stage opening.

Just a beautiful facility.  A gem.

Unfortunately, it is not always as well attended as one might hope, especially for events that are quite remarkable.   Seeing so few people come out makes me wonder if we deserve such a beautiful theatre or if our area will soon lose the ability to attract world-class musicians.

Last night, there was a performance by world-renowned and Grammy nominated violinist Robert McDuffie accompanied by the Venice Baroque Orchestra.  They were performing The Seasons Project which featured, in the first half of the show, Vivaldi’s  Four Seasons and, in the second half, modern composer Phillip Glass’ composition The American Four Seasons.  This new piece was written specifically for McDuffie and is inspirationally derived from Vivaldi’s seminal work. 

Let me point out that I know little of classical music and cannot speak with any degree of specificity about any piece of music.  I can only tell you what I like.  Like art, all you need to know is your reaction to it.

The Vivaldi was wonderful.  The sound of McDuffie and the 18 musicians of the Venice Baroque Orchestra played the well known work with passion and grace.  There is something quite amazing in the power of an acoustic orchestra and I found myself wondering what it must feel like to be one of those violinists when they are fully immersed in such a piece, with the sound of the other instruments all around them in unison.  Or how this piece  must have stunned audiences in 1725. Truly powerful.

I really didn’t know what to expect for the second half.  I had heard Glass’s work before and had found it always interesting, though not always pleasing to my ear.  I can’t fully describe the piece but I will say that as it grew I began to realize I was witnessing something quite remarkable, both in the compostion and in McDuffie’s performance.  His emotional rendering propelled the piece forward and as it climaxed all the pieces of the composition seemed to suddenly come together as a whole, giving the whole thing an impact that I hadn’t seen coming.  I know that is  hardly descriptive in musical terms but I can do no better.

It was breathtaking to see an original piece played with such passion. 

And for a theatre that was perhaps filled to one third its capacity. 

The elation of the show was tempered for me by the size of the crowd and thr realization that soon such shows would no longer be brought to our area for lack of an audience.  As I looked over the audience last night, I saw a tremendous amount of gray and white  hair.  I was among the younger set there and I am no longer young.  We, as an area, do not have a large number of young professionals that might take in such a show in larger metropolitan areas.  Over the years, we have lost many of our brightest and best to larger cities due the limited prospects caused by the financial hardship that seems to have a permanent home in this area.  The recession that swept the country over the last few years has been in these parts for about thirty years.

I guess that’s just the way things go.  For now, I am pleased to have witnessed something special and will put aside the fact that it may not be a possibility here soon.  If McDuffie is coming to a city near you with this tour, take advantage of the opportunity.

Here’s a small taste of the music…

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Sustenance-- GC Myers

Maybe it’s the gray paintings that I’ve been working on lately.  Or maybe it’s just the unseasonably cool morning with the temperatures in the mid-40’s.  Or maybe it’s a somewhat contrarian nature.  Whatever the case, I find myself this morning longing for cold weather and gray skies and flecks of snow gathering on the grass that has lost much of its green.  The feel of a sharp wind  on the cheek like a reviving slap.  The harsh bones of the leafless trees in silhouette against the slate sky.  The absolute quiet of the forest, save the creak of the trees swaying in the cold breeze.

I know that for many this sounds absurd.  Most want to bask in the summer heat.  Most want to feel the adolescent charm of days spent shoeless under a relentless sun. 

 Easy days.

Not so for winter.  Maybe that’s what I like.  Winter gives you nothing.  No warmth. No sustenance. No cover.  What you take from winter is a hard fought victory and that makes it all the sweeter.  Anyone can  feel the carefree lure of summer.  But winter drives off those unwilling to endure its own special charms. 

Cold, refreshing charms…

Here’s a wonderful version of  the Winter section from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by violinist Gil Shaham to get you into the winter mood…

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