The Dialog of Music and Painting
A vision in sound, written in one go: and He saw that it was good (Ton van Os)
I find the Chaconne one of the most wonderful, most incomprehensible pieces of music: on one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings (Johannes Brahms in a letter to Clara Schumann)
Van Gogh died childless, and considered the paintings his only heirs; each viewing celebrates their father's short life (Huffpost Arts)
Yesterday, March 30, was Van Gogh's birthday.
I met with Van Gogh's art firstly while in high school: an exhibition was organized in Bucharest with works brought from some German museums. I knew virtually nothing about Van Gogh's place in the history of art, but I wrote some emphatic impressions in the visitors' book. Every time I remember that episode it's for me a renewed lesson of humility.
I met then with his works in museums in Moscow and Sankt Petersburg: after being shown the old masters, the guide was telling us that we have half an hour to go to the upper level and see the impressionists and all that stuff on our own. We, me and my wife, were already tired, but the effort was of course worthily.
1985 was for me a year of great musical joys, and of terrible sorrows: it was the anniversary of three hundred years from the birth of Bach, Handel, and Domenico Scarlatti. It was a horrible winter, and I was going to listen organ recitals with Bach's music, I was dressed like going to the mountains, with a hanorack, and gloves. And then came the spring. My first wife passed away in the spring, and for a long time I was ashamed for my passion for the music of Bach.
Years passed, winters and springs, and summers, and autumns. My son grew up, he got married and I have now two granddaughters, and sometimes I think at my first wife: she should have been here to enjoy the view of the granddaughters.
My life went on, and my passion for music and for visual arts went on.
I had the joy to be with Van Gogh's works at my leisure, in Washington, for seven years: to go to the National Gallery, or to Phillips Collection, and to spend as much time as I wanted in front of his paintings. Time to meditate, time to enjoy.
Meanwhile I had watched a movie by Kurosawa (Dreams): in one episode Van Gogh was played by Martin Scorsese and was speaking with a Manhattan accent. And the main personage of the movie was entering in one of his paintings, wandering through its universe, and exiting from another painting. These two paintings are at the Washington National Gallery.
Here are two videos I have made sometime in these seven Washingtonian years. Enjoy!
Van Gogh, Gauguin, and a bit of Cézanne, at Washington National Gallery
(Musical Background: Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake - Waltz)
Soutine, Van Gogh, Chagall, Cézanne, Picasso, Braque in distance
(Musical Background: Mendelssohn - Frühlingslied)
(Amintiri din Garla Mare)