Good evening! Welcome to Claire’s Evening of Cultural Appreciation. This evening we will be reviewing art, music and poetry that you might enjoy. To start with, let us enjoy this rather piece from Eric Whitacre:
The Seal Lullaby; Eric Whitacre
Originally written for a movie soundtrack, its rather lovely sweeping score borrows from Scottish melodies to create a very sweet lullaby. From Eric Whitacre’s website: “Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our time, a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker. His first album as both composer and conductor on Decca/Universal, Light & Gold, won a Grammy® in 2012, reaped unanimous five star reviews and became the no. 1 classical album in the US and UK charts within a week of release.”
And a poem to go with it, from Rudyard Kipling:
We now move on to our first piece of art. This marvellous piece was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a magnificent craftsman (his glass windows are an excellent example). This vase has incorporated into it the structure of peacock feathers, and the luster alone would silence the viewer:
How often do you see something of that quality in your daily life? How uncommon is that magnificent subtlety?
The next piece in our musical programme is Claude Debussy’s Girl with the Flaxen Hair. This piece would have my mother’s eyes roll; she thought Debussy had all the originality of the top of a biscuit tin (she was more a fan of Liszt or Chopin). None the less, its included this evening as it has a marvellously romantic air, and is soothing to the frayed nerves.
And to enjoy with it, is Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus*. Painted in 1486, it hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where, I can attest, if you get too close they give out to you.
The cold of winter is still with us, so our next piece is Anuna, Winter Fire and Snow. This piece, sung so marvellously by Kate McMahon, is haunting in its beauty.
And to enjoy with it, a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley;
Also appropriate for this time of the year, is this German Hannukkah Lamp, dating from the 17th century.
Our time together draws to a close. To end, I bring you Bach’s Prelude, played by Yo-Yo Ma. Life is so short, don’t you find? There is never enough time to do the things we want to do.
So it is, that the years go on, and despite desires and wishes, inclinations, we are left with the life that is only just a tiny bit closer to what we want.
I hope that you have enjoyed our brief interlude of music and art, and that 2013 brings to you all you desire.
*”What’s the matter, Homer? Ain’t you never seen a naked chick on a clam before?”