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Bach in Arts - Hommage a Bach

Art-1881

Type:

Bach Painting

Title:

BACH (3)

Description:

[by the artist, March, 2006]: After decades, and thanks to email, I resumed contact with Ibrahim Souss. He responded enthusiastically to my paintings to music, and suggested I make one to the Aria and Thirty Variations (BWV 988), known as the Goldberg Variations, Bach’s keyboard masterpiece. This famous work of 1741 was commissioned by Count Keyserling for his own private listening pleasure, during his bouts of insomnia. He had employed Johann Gottlieb Goldberg a brilliant harpsichordist, and Bach himself gave the young musician lessons. The exceptionally difficult piece is made up of an Aria, a hauntingly beautiful saraband or dance, followed by thirty variations. Every third variation is a canon, (a musical form in which the melody is repeated), and at the end the Aria itself is repeated. Instead of making the variations using the main melody of the Aria, Bach used the bass line. After much thought, I decided to divide the painting simply into 32 regular rectangles. The calligraphic golden lines in the Arias (upper left and lower right) are my response to the melody, and I overlay similar lines slithering all over the painting, simulating the common thread joining all the individual variations. I then painted each variation in turn listening to four different versions of the music, using yellows only in the Canons. The penultimate square just before the final Aria is my illustration of Bach’s musical joke. He ended this exalted and masterly piece of music with his rendition of two ‘pop’ songs of his day- something about cabbages and turnips! I repeatedly listened to three piano performances of the Variations, the two bravura recordings by Glenn Gould (1955 and 1982), and to the equally beautiful but more classical interpretation by Angela Hewitt, and to Masaaki Suzuki’s performance on the harpsichord.
he arabesques and paisley patterns of the colorful rectangles in the finished painting are somewhat in the style of the traditional ceramic tiles made by the Armenian artisans at Palestine Pottery, a workshop in the Old City, now renamed Jerusalem Pottery after the Israeli occupation. I had myself designed tiles made there in 1963, still to be seen decorating the entrance to the kindergarten associated with the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. There I had once heard a visiting German orchestra perform Bach’s music (who was a Lutheran). Steps away stands the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on the site of the Crucifixion of Christ some two thousand years ago.

Measures:

Creator:

Artist: Vladimir Tamari
Date: March 2006

Buy item at:

See Source/Links below.

Comments:

Source/Links: Vladimir Tamari: Painting the Music
Contributor:
Aryeh Oron (January 2011)

Vladimir Tamari - Hommage a Bach

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Last update: ýJanuary 12, 2011 ý11:21:21