Friday, December 11, 2015

notes to dream by



In 1880, a young widow in Germany asked the artist Arnold Böcklin for a painting "to dream by."

In response, he painted a series of five versions of a painting which became known as Isle of the Dead.





Sergei Rachmaninoff was inspired by a black and white reproduction of Isle of the Dead to write a Symphonic Poem (Opus 29) under the same name, in 1909.

This version was destroyed during WWII.

The momentum of this piece builds slowly, as if in time to the rowing of an unnamed boatman. The recording is from a performance of the Russian National Orchestra (RNO)  on November 7, 2012, with Mikhail Pletnev at the baton.



For further reading, this article in the New York Times on the subject  may be of interest.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

the beauty of vanishing

Self-portrait with a Scarf - Zinaida Serebriakova


Before the Storm - Valentina Serebriakova



the beauty of vanishing

Some say there is a perfume named azure,
and impute to it lavender or frangipani notes;
but, for me, azure plucks at the strings of a harp,
dispersing blue morpho clouds of melody.


Spruce - Zinaida Serebriakova


In the garden of the stars her roses bloom,
their fractal filaments attract the bright bees;
the deeper I sink into the earth, the more I hear
their hum in the silence, and taste their honey.



Evening - Isaac Levitan



Emerald

I let you go, but you remain where devotion lingers with leaf-curtains drawn; and dreams gather in pools of verdigris; where c...

popular on this site