Matching visual arts with music: cd covers.

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piston
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Matching visual arts with music: cd covers.

Post by piston » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:40 pm

For labels such as Hypérion, a particular recording offers an opportunity to creatively match visual arts with music. In the case of A. Scriabin's preludes, for example, the producers opted for a painting by Louis Walden Hawkins, "Auréoles," which conveys both the spiritual and the erotic sides of several of the Russian composer's pieces. It's really beautiful, just like the preludes. I wonder if you would contribute other examples of what you view as a perfect match between visual arts and music.

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:08 pm

Don't have a particular example to show, but many of the paintings by either Fragonard or Boucher suit Mozart to perfection.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:19 pm

Here's a beauty:

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:20 pm

Who was the painter, Ralph?

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Post by xiaopv » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:26 pm

Debussy's Nocturnes by Bernard Haitink, Philips 400 023-2

The cover is a paint by J.A.M. Whistler called "Nocturne in Blue and Silver".

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Post by Wallingford » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:26 pm

No commercial reissue CD labels have thought of putting his output on digital disc, but I'm presently duping for a new buddy (out in the UK) my entire collection of ALFRED HERTZ/SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY recordings from the late 20s. No better cover art would equal this:
http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641 ... 31,00.html
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Post by Ralph » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:30 pm

Gary wrote:Who was the painter, Ralph?
*****

I'll check tomorrow. Too cold to go downstairs now.
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Post by Haydnseek » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:30 pm

Two Mahler cycles:

Bernstein's DG series used a series of illustrations by Erté on white background to great effect.
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Likewise, Philips used a series of prints by Oskar Kokoschka on a woodgrain background for their not quite complete cycle by Haitink.
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The typefaces on both sets are also well-chosen.

The two series of illustrations are quite different in style but they both match facets of Mahler's music.
Last edited by Haydnseek on Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by piston » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:33 pm

I do not mean to insult anybody. I rely on Google's "Images" rather than "Web" to copy a picture's url. I bet that everybody knows this already but, just in case, it's free info.
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Post by piston » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:59 pm

Wallingford wrote:No commercial reissue CD labels have thought of putting his output on digital disc, but I'm presently duping for a new buddy (out in the UK) my entire collection of ALFRED HERTZ/SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY recordings from the late 20s. No better cover art would equal this:
http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641 ... 31,00.html
It's mighty ... convincing :wink:
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by Lance » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:40 pm

Wallingford wrote:No commercial reissue CD labels have thought of putting his output on digital disc, but I'm presently duping for a new buddy (out in the UK) my entire collection of ALFRED HERTZ/SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY recordings from the late 20s. No better cover art would equal this:
http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641 ... 31,00.html
Totally agree! What an outstanding digital reproduction of a 1927 cover! Go for it!
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Post by Gary » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:58 am

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Post by piston » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:44 am

The Great Gate of Kiev

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But is it a great artistic match with Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition?
Victor Alexandrovich Hartmann "was an architect and designer of ordinary talent," wrote Alfred Frankestein, the individual who discovered the very "tableaux" (in the late 1930s) that inspired Mussorgsky to write his famous piano pieces. These pictures are "actually not paintings at all, at least in the ordinary sense of that word. Many are architectural drawings." In this instance, then, Mussorgsky made the drawings greater than they are, thereby immortalizing his dear friend who died at the age of 39.
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Post by karlhenning » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:01 am

piston wrote:. . . These pictures are "actually not paintings at all, at least in the ordinary sense of that word. Many are architectural drawings."
The Gate is certainly an architectural drawing. But the drawing which Musorgsky rendered as the Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells was a costume design, and I believe the Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba Yaga) was a design for a clock.

At any rate, Musorgsky's title is perfectly accurate: Pictures (not "Paintings") at an Exhibition.

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~Karl
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Post by piston » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:17 am

karlhenning wrote:
piston wrote:. . . These pictures are "actually not paintings at all, at least in the ordinary sense of that word. Many are architectural drawings."
The Gate is certainly an architectural drawing. But the drawing which Musorgsky rendered as the Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells was a costume design, and I believe the Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba Yaga) was a design for a clock.

At any rate, Musorgsky's title is perfectly accurate: Pictures (not "Paintings") at an Exhibition.

Cheers,
~Karl
In that case, the English language has proven more accurate than the French title: Tableaux d'une exposition. You're correct about "The Hut": Hartmann designed a clock in the form of Baba Yaga's hut, "the Russian witch who lives on human bones which she grinds up in a mortar and pestle; she also uses the mortor to ride through the sky." 8)
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Post by karlhenning » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:45 am

piston wrote:In that case, the English language has proven more accurate than the French title: Tableaux d'une exposition.
Tableau is "picture"; peinture is "painting," yes?

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by johnshade » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:46 am

-
I actually own this cd. Not bad. It is the most bizarre cover I've ever seen.

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Last edited by johnshade on Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by karlhenning » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:48 am

No, that's not bizarre; it's just plain unattractive.

Cheers,
~Karl
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piston
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Post by piston » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:01 am

karlhenning wrote:
piston wrote:In that case, the English language has proven more accurate than the French title: Tableaux d'une exposition.
Tableau is "picture"; peinture is "painting," yes?

Cheers,
~Karl
Perhaps, though "tableau" is both picture and painting. On the other hand, from English to French, picture is mainly translated as image and gravure. Let's not forget that there only existed the music until A. Frankenstein found the drawings and sketches some fifty years later. IMHO people who heard "Tableaux d'une exposition" before these sketches/drawings became public knowledge had something else in mind than this
Image

But that's just a guess.
Cheers
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Post by karlhenning » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:35 am

piston wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
piston wrote:In that case, the English language has proven more accurate than the French title: Tableaux d'une exposition.
Tableau is "picture"; peinture is "painting," yes?
Perhaps, though "tableau" is both picture and painting.
"Tableau" is picture, and it is (for instance) scene (as that of a stage work). I don't think that there is anything inherent to tableau to imply painting on canvas, e.g.
IMHO people who heard "Tableaux d'une exposition" before these sketches/drawings became public knowledge had something else in mind than this
Image
Well, that's an easy guess; no one could visualize any work of art, that they have not already seen, just from hearing its "depiction" in music.

And if people have in mind "canvas" when all that was said is "picture," the misprision lies in the receiver, not the transmitter :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by RebLem » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:05 pm

It doesn't seem to be around anymore, but I remember the LP issue of Bernstein's recording of Bloch's Sacred Service had a phot of Chagall's Rabbi of Vitebsk on it, which I thought was appropriate.
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Post by piston » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:26 pm

Yes!
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And this Chagall was also on a Bartok LP of his Sonata for pianos and percussion:

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But I don't think his "Midsummer's Night Dream" was appropriate for Mendelsohn's music, so I will refrain from posting it here :lol:
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Post by Haydnseek » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:03 pm

Chuck Jones and Ravel

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Post by piston » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:08 pm

:lol: good ones! :lol:
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Post by jserraglio » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:50 am

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Post by soylentgreen » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:10 pm

These were the first few albums I managed to get my little hands on.
When starting my classical collection as a kid in the late 70s I was quite drawn these CBS Masterworks...something about the newspaper motif was captivating...and look at that planets - "HOLST THE PLANETS"..I get chills to this day.
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Of course, all three performances above became the standards by which others were measure....to date, I've never heard the 'Vltava' performed as beautifully as Szell and Cleveland did.

The idyllic covers for the Jarvi/Gothenburg Grieg works on DG appeal greatly to my pastoral side(unfortunately, I couldn't locate a pic of the best one for his Symphony in C!)...
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More recently in my collection...this line for the works of Bax are subtle and have that sleek chic contempo feel, but the simplicity and layout is what appeals to me. Chandos always has such lush covers, especially the ones for that burst of underappreciated 20th century Brit composers they rolled out in the early 90s. The Shostakovitch, while a bit obvious, is none the less striking and to the point.
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While one of many Nevsky's I have, this one always makes me chuckle. The ultimate marketing attempt bridging classical music and fighting video games....Mortal Prokofiev Kombat...
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Re: Matching visual arts with music: cd covers.

Post by Sergeant Rock » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:32 am

piston wrote: I wonder if you would contribute other examples of what you view as a perfect match between visual arts and music.
A perfect match:

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Post by Gary » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:48 am

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