Κυριακή, 1 Απριλίου 2012






* Panos Ermidis

Το συμφωνικό ποίημα "Το νησί των νεκρών", έργο 29 του Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 -1943), εμπνευσμένο από έναν πίνα ζωγραφικής του Boecklin. Τη Φιλαρμονική της Βιέννης διευθύνει ο Valery Gergiev.

Rakmaninov - L'isola dei Morti - Gergiev

Isle of the Dead (painting)

Isle of the Dead: "Basel" version, 1880

Isle of the Dead (German: Die Toteninsel) is the best known painting of Swiss Symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901). Prints of the work were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century — Vladimir Nabokov observed that they were to be "found in every Berlin home."[1]Freud, Lenin, and Clemenceau all had prints of it in their offices.
Böcklin produced several different versions of the mysterious painting between 1880 and 1886.

All versions of Isle of the Dead depict a desolate and rocky islet seen across an expanse of dark water. A small rowboat is just arriving at awater gate and seawall on shore.[2] An oarsman maneuvers the boat from the stern. In the bow, facing the gate, is a standing figure clad entirely in white. Just behind the figure is a white, festooned object commonly interpreted as a coffin. The tiny islet is dominated by a dense grove of tall, dark cypress trees — associated by long-standing tradition with cemeteries and mourning — which is closely hemmed in by precipitous cliffs. Furthering the funerary theme are what appear to be sepulchral portals and windows penetrating the rock faces.
Böcklin himself provided no public explanation as to the meaning of the painting, though he did describe it as “a dream picture: it must produce such a stillness that one would be awed by a knock on the door.”[3][4] The title, which was conferred upon it by the art dealer Fritz Gurlitt in 1883, was not specified by Böcklin, though it does derive from a phrase in an 1880 letter he sent to the painting’s original commissioner.[5] Not knowing the history of the early versions of the painting (see below), many observers have interpreted the oarsman as representing the boatman Charon who conducted souls to the underworld in Greek mythology. The water would then be either the River Styxor the River Acheron and his white-clad passenger a recently deceased soul transiting to the afterlife.
Origins and inspiration

Greek islandPondikonisi near Corfu was likely the inspiration for the painting
Isle of the Dead evokes, in part, the English Cemetery in Florence, Italy, where the first three versions were painted. The cemetery was close to Böcklin's studio and was also where his infant daughter Maria was buried. (In all, Böcklin lost 8 of his 14 children.)
The model for the rocky islet was likely Pondikonisi, a small island near Corfu which is adorned with a small chapel amid a cypress grove.[6](Another, less likely candidate is the island of Ponza in the Tyrrhenian Sea.)

Works inspired by Isle of the Dead

  • As is self-evident, Salvador Dalí's 1932 painting The Real Picture of the Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin at the Hour of the Angelus is inspired by Böcklin's work.
  • The Swiss artist H. R. Giger created a version of the picture, Hommage à Böcklin (1977), in his typical "biomechanical" style.
  • Italian comicartist Gipi did an everyday-life-version of the Island of the Dead [1] 
  • August Strindberg's play The Ghost Sonata (1907) ends with the image of Isle of the Dead accompanied by melancholy music. It was one of Strindberg's favorite pictures.

  • Val Lewton's 1945 horror film Isle of the Dead was inspired by the painting which serves as a backdrop to the picture's title sequence. In an earlier film, I Walked with a Zombie (1943), Lewton had also alluded to it, placing it quite visibly on a wall in one scene. Lewton had been fascinated and terrified by a replica as a child.
  • The painting is the explicit backdrop for Norman McLaren's short animated film A Little Phantasy on a 19th-century Painting (1946).
  • The Quay Brothers' 2005 film The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes is said to be inspired by the painting, as well as by the book The Invention of Morel by Bioy Casares. Some of the scenery in the film (shot in a studio in Leipzig) is particularly reminiscent of the Leipzig version of the painting.
  • Heinrich Mann's 1903 novel Die Göttinnen oder Die drei Romane der Herzogin von Assy (The Goddesses, or The Three Novels of the Duchess of Assy) uses the painting's imagery without explicitly mentioning it.
  • In Vladimir Nabokov's Mary (1970; English translation of Mashen'ka [Машенька, 1926]) it is mentioned that a copy of The Isle of the Dead hangs in the room occupied by Klara.
  • In Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1952 novella Der Richter und sein Henker (The Judge and His Hangman), the painting is mentioned and functions as a harbinger of doom.
  • In J.G. Ballard's 1966 novel The Crystal World, Böcklin's second version of the painting is invoked to describe the gloom of the opening scene at Port Matarre.
  • Roger Zelazny used the picture as an inspiration for the meeting place of two mythological antagonists in his novel Isle of the Dead(1969).
  • A French graphic novel in five tomes, L'île des morts, was published on the Böcklin painting's theme with a strong influence of writer H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos by the editor Vents d'Ouest at Issy-les-Moulineaux, in 1996.
  • The Italian illustrator Milo Manara also depict this painting in one of his graphic novels (Au revoir les étoiles) in which the main character revives classical paintings. [2] 
  • Bernard Cornwell's The Warlord Chronicles (1995-97) associates Dorset's Isle of Portland with the painting's isle. It is described as a place of internal exile and damnation. The causeway that almost links the real-life island to the mainland was supposed to be guarded to keep the "dead" (including the criminally insane) from crossing the Fleet and escaping back into Britain (a bit of literary conjecture in this historical fiction, not archaeological fact).
  • In 1998 the Italian writer Franco Ricciardello won the Urania Award with a novel (Ai Margini del Caos, Aux frontières du chaos) whose plot revolves around a mystery involving the different versions of the painting.
  • The German novelist Thomas Lehr (b. 1957) mentioned the painting as hanging in a hospital room in his Nabokov's Cat (1999).
  • In 2008, the painting is used as one of the dreamlike setting for the comic novel Sognare, forse morire, Volume 118 of the Series Julia. Written by Giancarlo Berardi and Maurizio Mantero, Graphic by Laura Zuccheri.
Cover art
  • The 5th version of the painting serves as cover art for German writer Lena Falkenhagen's novel Die Boroninsel (Boron Island).
  • An album by Harald Blüchel was named after the painting. The third version of the painting is shown on the cover of this album.
  • The Island of the Dead (1890) is a symphonic poem by Romantic composer Heinrich Schülz-Beuthen evoking the painting.
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff also composed a symphonic poem, Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 (1909), inspired by a black-and-white print of the painting. He said that had he seen the color original, he likely would not have written the music.
  • One of the four tone poems of German composer Max Reger’s Vier Tondichtungen nach Böcklin (Op 128, 1913) is “Die Totensel” (No. 3), based on the painting. (The same year, Reger’s disciple Fritz Lubrich, Junior [1888-1971] composed Drei Romantische Tonstücke nach Böcklinschen Bildern (Three Romantic Tonstücke after Böcklin’s Pictures; Op 37), an organ work of which No. 3 is also The Dead Island.)
  • The Swedish neoclassical band Arcana used an image of Isle of the Dead on the cover of their debut album Dark Age of Reason.
  • An album by Harald Blüchel was named after the painting. The third version of the painting is shown on the cover of this album.

 *Effie Mattheou

Arnold Böcklin, Isle of the Dead

*Kiriaki Chrysanidou

*Kiriaki Chrysanidou

M. K. Čiurlionis - Jūra (The Sea)
Jūra was composed between 1903 and 1907 and is dedicated to his Warsaw friend and protectress, Mrs. B. Wolman. On a visit to the Wolman summer home in the Crimea, Čiurlionis first saw the Black Sea. This was the first time he experienced a sea other than the Baltic, and he was overwhelmed by its vastness. This must have been the original inspiration for Jūra, for the sea became a symbol for Čiurlionis of the "eternal becoming."Jūra was first performed in 1936 in Kaunas on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the composer's death. Čiurlionis wrote to his fiancée:
 "I want to compose a symphony from out of rolling waves, the mysterious talk of the woods, the twinkling of stars, of our old songs, and my boundless longing."
 It took Ciurlionis a long time to create "The Sea" (duration: about 37 minutes) because the process of composition was from time to time interrupted by his cultural activity and travels to Caucasus and Western Europe (1905-1906). In addition, he had already sacrificed himself to painting by that time.
 The astonishing Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911) lived only to the age of 36, but like Vincent van Gogh, with whom he has many parallels, he accomplished a prodigious amount in his tragically short lifetime. No less than 300 musical compositions and an equal number of paintings have been attributed to him.
 Čiurlionis began to paint when he was already a mature composer and carried music over into painting. He not only used the principles of musical composition in his art work, but also gave musical terms to some of his paintings, calling them preludes, fugues, and sonatas.
 Especially near to and characteristic of music is the development of a theme in several paintings, where each of them reveals diverse scenes and moods. The compositional structure of the three or four-part sonata is found most often. The frequent repetition of motifs, the melodic rhythm of the lines, and the playful harmony of colors also join his painting to his music. For example, the symphonic poem "The Sea" and the cycle of paintings "The Sonata of the Sea" (1908) draw on this kind of analogy as a means of expression. Besides, one theme joins both of these works; namely the dialectics of rest and movement in the rhythm of nature.
"The Sonata of the Sea" (1908) - Allegro (Style: Symbolism)
M. K. Čiurlionis - Jūra (The Sea)
Ciurlionis never stopped composing or painting; each medium informed the other. Some examples of Ciurlionis’s use of musical techniques in visual art are apparent in his sonata paintings, which he assembled into series in the same way that one would construct a sonata in music. For example, Sonata of the Sea (1908) corresponds to his musical cycle The Sea of the same year. The painting is made up of three panels, “Andante,” “Allegro,” and “Finale,” and recent computer renderings have shown literal similarities between musical and pictorial lines as well as in textural analogies. However, as fascinating as Ciurlionis’s technique is, it should be remembered that for him, subject matter always transcended purely technical issues in his paintings. 
 "The Sonata of the Sea"
 ‎"The Sonata of the Sea" (1908) - Finale
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Symphony No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 48, was written by Alexander Glazunov in 1893. The symphony was a departure from Glazunov's three earlier symphonies, which were based on nationalistic Russian tunes and, according to the composer, allowed him to give "personal, free, and subjective impressions of myself."
Three movements make up the work:
  1. Andante - Allegro moderato
  2. Scherzo
  3. Andante - Allegro
The symphony is dedicated to Anton Rubinstein, a fellow composer and pianist, and has three movements compared to Glazunov's regular four; the scherzo is meant to represent Arnold Böcklin's painting Diana's Chase. Glazunov finished the symphony on 4 December, 1893, and it was premiered at the Third Russian Concert at the Hall of Nobility on 22 January 1894. The premiere was conducted by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, another eminent Russian composer, who declared the work "marvellous, noble, expressive". Later, Glazunov's daughter, Elena Glazunov-Gunther, would tell her biographer that the Fourth Symphony was the favorite Glazunov symphony in Europe, while the Fifth was favored in America.
Glazunov: Symphony #4 in Eb Major, Op. 48 - II Scherzo. Allegro vivace
Evgeny Svetlanov, USSR Symphony Orchestra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og2CCLN1fEc&feature=related (II Scherzo. Allegro vivace)

La chasse de Diane [Diana's Hunt]

The Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin is one of the major figures in Germanic symbolism. Throughout his career he worked to inject new life into history painting with mythological subjects. When he painted this landscape he was living in Italy, where he found a source of inspiration in phase with his love of antique culture. Diana's Hunt incidentally illustrates an episode from Ovid's Metamorphoses: in the course of a hunt, Acteon loses his way and surprises the goddess Diana bathing naked in a spring. He flees but soon realises that the outraged Diana has turned him into a stag. He is killed and devoured by his own hounds.
Böcklin has freely adapted this legend, setting it in an almost supernatural landscape in which some details have been treated with great precision. We see Diana armed with her bow, accompanied by several hunters. The ferocious dogs are well drawn but are racing towards a stag already brought to the ground and bristling with arrows.
With this painting, dated 1896, Böcklin returned to a subject he had treated early in his career when he painted a large Diana's Hunt commissioned by the museum in his native city of Basel. This nostalgic work therefore refers to his youth, but it is also a final homage paid by the ageing, ailing artist to the great tradition of classical landscape painting.
The Arnold Böcklin Pages - Diana's Hunt
Images of the works of Arnold Böcklin (1827 - 1901), presented by davidjayspyker.com


*Κατερίνα Γκίρδη

Respighi - Spring - Three Botticelli Pictures (1/3)
Respighi - The Adoration of the Magi - Three Botticelli Pictures (2/3)
Respighi - The Birth of Venus - Three Botticelli Pictures (3/3)

* Themis Taflanidis

"Λουκέρνη". Υδατογραφια του Mendelssohn. (1847)

* Margarita Xanthaki

 Monteverdi: Lamento d'Arianna

*Christos Sipsis

Vincent van Gogh / Henri Dutilleux
Henri Dutilleux - Timbres, espaces, mouvement, ou 'La nuit étoilée' Part 1
Although not a symphony in name, and not really even a symphony-in-all-but-name, I'd be remiss if I left out Dutilleux's Timbres, Espace, Mouvement (1978), whose subtitle "Starry Night" betrays inspiration again from that most famous of Van Gogh's paintings. Timbres, like most of Dutilleux's small output, is music honed to an almost ridiculous polish, with every pitch, every orchestral pairing bearing the imprint of a calculating perfectionist. You really can't go wrong with Dutilleux and this piece is a little marvel.

Henri Dutilleux, Timbres, espaces, mouvement, ou 'La Nuit étoilée' Part 2

Timbres, espace, mouvement (Timbre, space, movement) is a work for orchestra composed by Henri Dutilleux in 1978.
 The Starry Night, by Van Gogh, the inspiration for this work.It is subtitled La nuit etoilée (The Starry Night) in reference to a painting by Vincent Van Gogh. The composer wanted to translate in his composition the "almost cosmic whirling effect which (the painting) produces"[1]
 This work is written for an orchestra that comprises 16 woodwinds (4 flutes, 4 oboes, 4 clarinets, 4 bassoons), 11 brass instruments (4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba), 12 celli, 10 double basses, percussions, harp, celesta, and timpani; there are no violins or violas. Their absence was meant to translate the impression of relative emptiness and immobility conveyed by the lower half of the painting. On the other hand, the wind instruments and percussions are particularly prominent. Their solos represent the movements of the clouds and the light of the stars and the moon. Space is represented by an unusual distribution of the celli. They are placed at the foreground in a half circle around the conductor. The movement is symbolized by the alternation of static episodes and whirling solos.
Timbres, espace, mouvement (Dutilleux) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 *Christos Sipsis

 In 1986-1987, the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote an opera, Vincent, based on several events in the life of painter Vincent van Gogh, and later used some of the same themes in his 6th symphony, Vincentiana.From Wikipedia
Einojuhani Rautavaara - Symphony No. 6 "Vincentiana" (1/5) Starry Night
Einojuhani Rautavaara - Symphony No. 6 "Vincentiana" (2/5) Starry Night second part
Einojuhani Rautavaara - Symphony No. 6 "Vincentiana" (3/5) 2. The Crows
 Rautavaara's Sixth Symphony: "Vincentiana" (1992) draws a considerable amount of its material from the composer's opera Vincent (1990), a heavily symbolic, non-linear collage of the life and mind of Van Gogh with libretto penned (like all of Rautavaara's 8 operas) by the composer. The symphony is divided into the traditional four movements (like all of Rautavaara's 8 symphonies, save the strange Fifth), each one with a subtitle alluding to an image or idea from the opera. This is the only of his symphonies to feature electronics, which are most prominent at the edges of movements, the orchestra typically filling up the space in between. Meandering quasi-tonal rhapsodies (that as a Rautavaara listener, you either come to love or hate) are freely mixed with passages of extreme atonal/12-tone violence throughout the work, though some of those rows also contribute to the consonant triadic material as well, a Rautavaarian trick.<a href="#" role=button></a><a href="#" role=button></a><a href="#" role=button>http://unsungsymphonies.blogspot.gr/2010/09/vincentiana-two-and-half-van-gogh.html</a>
Einojuhani Rautavaara - Symphony No. 6 "Vincentiana" (4/5) 3. Saint-Rémy
Among the highlights of the symphony is the combination of synthesizers and orchestral effects that kick off the work's first movement "Starry Night," a delirious waltz that seems to detonate towards the end of the third movement "Saint-Rémy" (Van Gogh's late life sanitarium), and exultant finale for the last movement "Apotheosis." The second movement, "The Crows," features a haunted refrain, ostensibly drawn from the opera's second act, where Van Gogh, in the company of Gauguin and his brother Theo, experiences a vision of fields "heaving, breaking in waves...writhing like big animals in their death-throes." Squint your ears for the almost inaudible string-section fuzz that blows over the slow chordal theme.
 This slight blur becomes an impenetrable smear with the tail end of the Sanitarium waltz, which buckles, then gives way to a blast of electronics and wind-mouthpieces, transmuting some nagging chorus of physicians and art critics into a murder of displeased corvids.
Einojuhani Rautavaara - Symphony No. 6 "Vincentiana" (5/5) 4. Apotheosis
 Things do come together in the final "Apotheosis," which stems from music written for Vincent's final, triumphal/suicidal paean to light: "The day of the sun! And he who dies today shall never disappear, but will join those who once had the courage to go on and live!" Even here, Rautavaara's characteristically dense orchestration creates a blurry sort of sensory overload.
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams - Van Gogh

*Christos Sipsis

Goya / Berlioz 
 Πίνακες: Witches' Sabbath, 1789 καιWitches' Sabbath (The Great He-Goat), 1821–1823.
Berlioz: Symphony Fantastique (Boston SO, Munch) 5/5
 Fifth movement: "Songe d'une nuit de sabbat" (Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath)From Berlioz's program notes:

He sees himself at a witches’ sabbath, in the midst of a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind who have come together for his funeral. Strange sounds, groans, outbursts of laughter; distant shouts which seem to be answered by more shouts. The beloved melody appears once more, but has now lost its noble and shy character; it is now no more than a vulgar dance tune, trivial and grotesque: it is she who is coming to the sabbath ... Roar of delight at her arrival ... She joins the diabolical orgy ... The funeral knell tolls, burlesque parody of the Dies irae, the dance of the witches. The dance of the witches combined with the Dies irae.

Symphonie fantastique - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Williams (Recuerdos de la Alhambra)
Narciso Yepes - Recuerdos de la Alhambra

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