Morning Glories: Matisse and Music

by Rex Levang, Minnesota Public Radio
February 24, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a standout work based on the theme for the week. We call these works Morning Glories.

This week, a major exhibit of the art of Henri Matisse is opening at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Matisse's life coincides with a period of abundant creativity by French and French-based composers. Our Morning Glories come from that era and reflect some of the same themes that Matisse explored in his colorful, personal art.

Monday

Satie: Gymnopédies
Three slow, solemn dances whose title suggests the world of antiquity--though what exactly Erik Satie meant by "gymnopédie" has never been conclusively determined.

Matisse, La Danse (1909 - 1910); Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

Tuesday

Debussy: Images, Bk.2
The "images" evoked here are bells heard through leaves; moonlight; and goldfish in a pond.

Matisse, Les poissons rouges (1914); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Wednesday

Martinů: The Kitchen Review
The Matisse exhibit includes his book, "Jazz" — here's a jazzy work from Bohuslav Martinů, written during his Parisian years.

Cover art of Henri Matisse's Jazz (1947); Musée Matisse, Nice, France.

Thursday

Fauré: Nocturnes for Piano (selected)
Like Matisse, Gabriel Fauré can be considered an artist of "the great indoors."

Matisse, L'Atelier Rouge (1911); The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Friday

Ibert: Escales (Ports of Call)
The ports are all Mediterranean cities — described with exuberant orchestral color.

Matisse, Les toits de Collioure (1905); Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.


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