Music in the Museums

29 posts / 0 new
Last post
Music in the Museums

It may appear to many lovers of both classical music and the visual arts that a gap exists between these disciplines though from an aesthetic point of view, they’re closely related. And of course, if you’re a fan of the arts, there’s a good probability that you’ll be a fan of ballet, poetry, literature and theatre as well as music and art. However in the once heavily German immigrant populated town that I live, music reigns supreme while other art forms struggle just to get attention. There even seems to be a condescending indifference to painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and areas of design by the dedicated concert goer. 

 

However, the atmosphere in larger and more culturally enlightened cities is different, at least in the sense that different art forms are seen more as equals. For example, in Paris where fortunately beauty and fine art is by most standards ‘over the top’, a strong concert and classical music environment exists. It seems to reason from my experience that where visual art and design is valued, so are the performing arts. That where museums and galleries are prized, that classical music, opera and ballet enjoys a highly supportive and active environment but not necessarily the other way around.

 

Recently while I was browsing about the Musee d’Orsay website, I read about chamber concerts that were planned to take place in the museum after hours. It made a large impression on me because I was saddened and frustrated that I could not attend these events. Nevertheless, my understanding of art and music living in harmony within Paris, NYC, etc…was reenforced. And it also seems that the music world and the art world are making added efforts to bring these two disciplines ever closer together. In other words, where there’s cooperation, there’s prosperity.

 

I’m wondering what members of the Gramophone community have experienced, whether classical music lovers in the UK or otherwise have attended museum concerts or something similar?

Do you personally see where a love for fine art and classical music can share in the sunlight of the spirit? And finally, do you make aesthetic connections between certain art pieces and certain musical compositions?

 

Thanks!

GF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

goofyfoot

A symphony on painting hearing a painting

Not many musical works are about the visual arts, though many, of course, do have literary connections and there are subjects depicted by all 3 genres (e.g. Romeo). I believe in general that one should attempt to associate pictures or other extra-musical issues to the extent suggested by the composer (e.g. Mussorgsky, Wagner dragons, etc.).

I personally find Haydn's clock more inspirational than Dali's (Salvador, and perhaps Wang the swimmer).

Perhaps one can also think of paintings in music halls (the very large ones at the Met (Opera), for example).

Though Not Strictly Programmatic

Certainly tjh212, you're right with reference toward pieces associated with art in the programmatic sense. However I tend to associate aesthetic principles to the creation process, for example superimposing form and transparency of color with the Debussy String Quartet. Whenever I hear the Debussy, I create color fields in my mind and this type of thing can happen with other composers though not with a majority of composers. It's very possible that psychology might play a more significant role in aesthetics than I alluded to. Would it not be interesting to see a mission statement from a museum or gallery concerning the music recitals and chamber concerts within that particular art institution?

goofyfoot

In A Landscape

 

To hopefully better explain the application of visual aesthetics with musical concepts, the John Cage piece "In A Landscape" for instance is undoubtably a programmatic work and the title clarifies its intentions but the programmatic nature of the work is visual nonetheless. Do we associate the works character with a specific landscape or a metaphorical one? Couldn't this landscape be an oil painting of a landscape? The visual element is strong but its reference is ambiguous. 

goofyfoot

Associations

Hi goofyfoot,

Audio and Visual Art can have much freedom of association. In a painting, for example Picasso's "Violin and Grapes", even a specific title and a (generally) discernable image may have many implications. The different parts that constitute the "concept" of a violin, in a sense.

But we should be careful not to over- or under-associate. The William Tell galop is not Silver the horse. If you are associating a particular landscape or a painting, it may be too narrow (or too wide) of an interpretation, but perhaps not as serious of a violation as associating the 1812 Overture with a Pavane. La Mer is not "3 Movements".

I do not have objections to museum concerts and perhaps Debussy can be enhanced after a study of Monet down the hall, or vice versa, but playing Debussy (live or on the background) while observing Monet may not do service to either.

Skryabin may be of interest. His 5th Symphony calls for colors to be projected while performed. I shall revisit the Svetlanov / Sviatoslav Richter version later today (without projections).

Music in the Museums.

Here in Far-east, because of the high drive of development, there is enough interest and respect for both the peforming and visual Arts, but, in a money-oriented and driven society, even the Arts have little role, influence and impact in the lives of the people.

In this framework, there is very little interest, while there is the possibility, for organising concerts in the Museums. Taking into serious consideration that we are talking for cities of population of more than 10 million each (Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai etc.), what happens in the most prestigious peforming place in the city (e.g. in Beijing's "Egg" or Seoul Arts Center) passes as a minimal event, mostly of social character, with minimum artistic impact. 

I tend to believe that economic development in many places in the world, nowadays, works against the actual support and promotion of the Arts, unless the Arts can serve specific social or even political purposes.

Parla

Music in Museum

I believe some music halls serve as museums during strikes.

A Less Than Literal Interpretation

tJh313, an association with Debussy and Monet would I think be obvious seeing that they are from the same region and were created at the same time but what about a David Hockney and Debussy association? Isn't it very possible that while mentally deconstructing a rebuilding a painting, that we come across a universal process of creativity? I believe that with these concerts in the museums, that the atmosphere is a part of the creative process for people who not only create or collect but also for financial associates, functionaries and restaurant owners.

 

Parla, whether these events are profit motivated is totally unclear. I believe prosperity can happen by means of incorporating the two but that prosperity may not be solely in monetary terms.

goofyfoot

Creative

I am not aware of many works inspired inside a museum, nor composers who were restauranteurs, but apparently Puccini was inspired by painter and cafe in 2 of his well known works.

Tosca

And 'Tosca' in my opinion is Puccini's best opera from a musical standpoint. I'm just wondering, is it generally perceived that the score is indifferent to Mario's imagination or in general, his creativity? I really don't know the score and don't listen to Tosca very often but it's a viable assumption that attendees see only an artistic connection to Mario through set design, costume design and libretto.

 

Concerning restaurant owners, etc..., my point is that people outside of creative fields are also capable of making connections involving the creative decision making processes. 

goofyfoot

Mario

The title of the opera may shed a little light, goofyfoot.

I'm not sure if people IN the creative process understand Wagner's decisions on Ring, let alone outside, but perhaps Tolkien might disagree.

It is perhaps not necessary to gather in museums. Desert islands often have recording symposiums.

 

 

 

Pages

Log in or register to post comments

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019