PAINTING & MUSIC
|Santo Ficara Gallery
CLIVE BRITTON PLAYS LISZT
|Read : Finally! Colour in Florence.The Herald Tribune||
by Michel Le Goff
100 x 150
acrilic on canvas
|Review in FlashArt
© Copyright Flash Art
ART SHOW BECOMES PRELUDE TO MUSIC FESTIVAL
By Emily Murdoch, London
One hundred and twenty of
Tuscany’s elite gathered together on the evening of May 7th
to hear British pianist Clive Britton perform Liszt in a contemporary art
gallery. Why? The splendid setting alone is reason enough for a concert
with the Santo Ficara Gallery located on the ground floor of Florence’s
Palazzo Borghese, but the main reason for Liszt lies with the art on the
Clive Britton performed six pieces from Aneés de Pèlerinage, a musical self-portrait which covers a lifetime of work written by Liszt as he journeyed throughout Europe. Each piece chosen for this concert, referred specifically to a work of art or literature Liszt was stimulated by in Italy. Il Pensieroso, was inspired by Michelangelo’s figure of Lorenzo Duke of Urbino in the Medici chapel of San Lorenzo, Florence and also by the artist’s sonnet that opens "I am thankful to sleep, and more thankful to be made of stone." The Sposalizio refers to the famous painting by Raphael now in the Brera, Milan that narrates the betrothal of the Virgin.
Slide projections of the
works of art and of the gardens at the Villa d’Este were shown throughout
the concert to transport the audience back to the physical sources of Liszt’s
The concert at Santo Ficara Gallery is a prelude to a larger project undertaken by Clive Britton in his capacity as Artistic Director of the classical music festival held in the Dolomites each summer. This year, the Music FestiVal Gardena, sponsored by Corriere della Sera, has invited Michel Le Goff to be their first visual artist in residence. He is creating a series of paintings dedicated to the festival’s concert programme that will form an exhibition entitled Iconomusica. Clive Britton has always been interested in the relationship between visual art and music and the dual inauguration of the festival and the exhibition on the 13th July at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Ortisei will bring together his vision of fine music and fine art sharing the same venue and expressing something of the same creative intention. Norbert Brainin will open the programme by conducting the Orchestra del Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana with Beamish : The Day Dawn, Haydn : Concerto per violoncello ed orchestra in Do maggiore, Mozart: Adagio e Fuga per archi K546 and Schubert/Mahler ‘La Morte e la Fanciulla’.
Guests will be able to mingle downstairs in the art gallery before and after attending the concerts which run till August 11th. Michel Le Goff has created the paintings for Iconomusica in isolation on a small Greek island. The artist rigged up a special audio system in his cliff-top studio enabling him to paint whilst being completely immersed in the music of the festival programme. Le Goff will be leaving his island eyrie to be present at the festival and give a talk about his work.
“It seems to have been the prerogative of composers to inspire themselves from the visual arts. Franz Liszt shows us Orcagna: Il trionfo della morte, Mussorgsky takes us to the Pictures at an Exhibition, Sergei Rachmaninoff described Arnold Bocklin’s Isle of the Dead. The list goes on. All of these musicians tried to capture with sounds the essence of visual sensation embedded in paintings. With Iconomusica I reverse the process. Abstract art is the ideal medium to visualize the fugitive response the listener feels whilst listening to the works of great composers.”
Clive Britton will not only be busy running the festival but will also perform piano sonatas by Kodaly, Brahms and Beethoven with the British violoncellist Robert Cohen. Britton, a long time resident of Italy, has given a series of seminars on Liszt’s three ‘Years of Pilgrimage’ for Universities such as, New York and Georgetown, as well as the Smithsonian Institution. He holds regular masterclasses in Italy and France and became Artistic Director of the FestiVal Gardena in 1997.
FROM THE EVENING
London artist, Joanna Hayman-Bolt
in front of
Raichel Le Goff, wife of the artist, introduces the event
Other Artists represented by the Gallery Santo Ficara of Florence