Classical Music Month~ September 20

Trittico Botticelliano by Ottorino Respighi

“Although the theme of “The Adoration of the Magi” is recognizable as the carol “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” Respighi’s mind was not on the Advent season. Rather, the three movements of the Trittico Botticelliano each take their inspiration from a different painting by Sandro Botticelli, renowned artist of the Italian Renaissance. The first and third are likely familiar: La primavera (Spring) and La nascita di Venere (The Birth of Venus). The middle part of the triptych, “L’adorazione dei Magi,” is less humanistic and more traditional, with its subject from the Book of Matthew.”

Adoration of the Magi by Sandro Botticelli

c.1475-1476 / Tempera on wood panel / 43 3/4″x52 3/4″ / Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

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Classical Music Month~ September 17

Mona Lisa (opera) by Max von Schillings

“Mona Lisa was composed in 1914, apparently in a matter of weeks, following an earlier meeting in 1911 with the poet Beatrice Dovsky, whose play on the life of Lady Godiva Schillings had intended to set for the opera stage. When she handed him her poem Mona Lisa he was immediately inspired by the romantic, albeit entirely fictional, story of the woman with the most famously enigmatic smile in history, her husband and her lover – a classic operatic ménage a trois.”

Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo
by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

c.1503-19 / Oil on poplar panel / 30″x21″ / The Louvre Museum, Paris, France

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Classical Music Month~ September 16

Poppy and Her Trainer/Newmarket by John Hassall

Poster advertising a production of Newmarket, a racing comedy with music by F. Taylor and E. B. Jones performed by Alexander Loftus’s Musical Comedy Company at the Opéra Comique, London

c.1896 / Color lithograph on paper / 30″x20″ / Various collections

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Classical Music Month~ September 15

Goyescas, Op. 11: V. Love and Death – ballade by Enrique Granados

“The title comes from Goya’s Caprichos, and according to Granados: ‘All of the themes of Goyescas are united in El amor y la muerte… intense pain, nostalgic love and the final tragedy – death. The middle section is based on the themes of Quejas o la maja y el ruiseñor and Los requiebros, converting the drama into sweet gentle sorrow…the final chords represent the renunciation of happiness.’”

El amor y la muerte (Love and death) by Francisco Goya
From the series Los Caprichos

1797-1798 / Etching, aquatint, and burin / Plate: Plate: 8 9/16″x5 7/8″ / Various collections

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