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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

comments powered by Disqus

On Now

Listen to the Stream
  • Three Tone-Pictures 10:31 Charles Griffes
    Michael Lewin, piano
    Buy Now
  • In the Bleak Midwinter 10:24 Harold Darke
    Choir of King's College, Cambridge
    David Willcocks
    Stephen Varcoe, baritone
    Buy Now

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.