09 August 2011

Water Music





















Looking at Frantisek Kupka's fanciful image I wonder if he played the piano or harbored some vivid memories of the sounds of a keyboard.  So I began a mental list of the piano pieces I've attempted to play that were water music.  Claude Debussy is the composer with the most entries with Gardens In The Rain, Reflections In  Water, and The Engulfed Cathedral.  Both Debussy and Maurice Ravel had their versions of Ondine, the mythical goddess as water nymph.   Also, Ravel and Franz Lizst each composed a Jeu d'eau, with Lizst specifying that his was about the fountains of Villa d'Este in Tivoli.  I have a soft spot for The Fountains Of The Acqua Paola by the short-lived American Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920).

Image: Frantisek Kupka - Piano Keys, 1905, Nardon Gallery, Prague.

5 comments:

Andy McEwan said...

Jane,
How about Handel's "Water Music" or Ottorino Respighi's "Fountains of Rome"?
Regards,
Andy McEwan

Gerrie said...

The great picture will make a nice matching CD cover for great impressionist music by Griffes. Never heard his music although musically well grounded. Already on the hunt for the paino score. So two times thank you for this wonderful little posting. Gerrie

Jane said...

Andy,wonderful music, of course. I limited myself to things 1) written for piano and 2) that I had played as a student. For Ravel, the verb is definitely "attempted" in my case.

Jane said...

Gerrie, this early painting by Kupka seemed to demand its own singular space. Griffes strikes me as being one more artist who suffers from academic career-itis. If you are going to build a career for yourself on someone else's work, they have to produce a lot for you to munch on. It was my first piano teacher who introduced me to Griffes and I hope you like this piece as much as I do.

Gerrie said...

Bather, Pianokeyes and then Autumn ? With the warmest 3 Graces you have his nicest paintings. I like the music a lot have strong doubts if I can master this kind of music. Probaly not. Národni Galerie being the National Gallery in Prague.
Gerrie