Session|séance 2.3.

Session|séance 2.3. Betty Andrews Recital Hall.
Chair: Jim Head.

Wednesday|mercredi 23 May|mai 2018. 11:30AM-12:30PM


2.3.1. Lecture-Recital of the piano cycle Métopes by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski

This lecture-recital will focus on the analysis of the piano cycle, Métopes Op.29 (1915), by the twentieth century Polish composer, Karol Szymanowski. As a result of his voyages to the Mediterranean in 1914, the fascination with classical antiquity and eastern cultures led to the creation of Szymanowski’s unique compositional idiom in the works of 1914-18. Alongside the profusion of musical influences within the European milieu before the First World War, Szymanowski draws on a variety of ‘exotic’ sources. Szymanowski was particulary fascinated by Sicily, and the inspiration for his Métopes, Op. 29 came from the famed reliefs (Métopes) from the temple of Selinunte (an ancient Greek archaeological site) in Sicily. The three piano pieces are intended to outline stages in a history, in this case based on Homer’s Odyssey: L’isle de Sirènes, Calypso, and Nausicaa.

Much of the difficulty in analysing the harmony of the Métopes stems from the fact that Szymanowski made a unique synthesis of very different stylistic worlds. The polarities expressed in the music of Debussy and Schoenberg, seek a resolution in the expression of Szymanowski’s Métopes – in this work, the ‘impressionist’ aesthetic is developed within a higher harmonic complexity found in Debussy, resulting in a highly intractable density of dissonance bordering on Schoenbergian provenance. By virtue of the subtle integration of the various musical currents in Europe leading up to the First World War, Szymanowski successfully defies classification in adhering to any one of the prevailing musical trends. Szymanowski’s blending of musical styles is analogous to his new philosophical perspectives in regards to his awareness and appreciation of the influence of exotic cultures.


2.3.2 The Biola of the Riau Islands (Indonesia, 11m).

Karen Kartomi Thomas (Dir.)

This is a first ever short film documentary on the violin (biola) of Indonesia's Riau Islands of the South China Sea with original footage on the beauty of the islands, the people, the musicians, and the performing arts still largely unknown to the rest of the world.

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