Monday, July 25, 2005

sculpture grand in Wenceslas Square
You can view all the sculptural pieces that are installed in Wenceslaus Square at The Iron Men sculpture is posted on this blog on Sunday, 7/23. Today I had a great art experience that will mean something to my classical music friends and hopefully to others. I decided to arrange a CD concert for myself while viewing the sculptures. So I took Jer's CD "walk man" and started with Alfred Schnittke's Concerto for Cello which is a very harsh and painful piece of music that does justice to our experience of living in a broken, exhausted culture. Then I put on the Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition (orchestral version) and walked from piece to piece, trying to make sure that I stayed with each sculpture during one of the complete pieces that represent particular paintings. Mussorgsky ties the work together with "walking music" as he moved from one picture to the next. I tried to follow this pattern when possible. It worked very beautifully. This experience certainly renewed my appreciation for this piece of music that is probably heard too often (I've been working on it for piano since I was about 14). Today in this context, it sounded gnarly and very soulful.The point is that this was an extremely rich and wonderful experience. I spent some real "quality time" with each sculpture and the music created a semi-private world for me to inhabit, even though I could hear the noises of the street. The living people mingling and looking became even more poignant and beautiful.
A recommendation: for my Czech friends, try it, get a CD player and Mussorgsky and just do it. And for you who may be planning a musical tour of Prague next summer, you could incorporate this experience with next year's sculpture display. Just provide the CDs and the walkman and turn people loose and then report back to the group.
On the way back to the apartment, I closed with Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which sounded very fresh and perfect after the Schnittke, Mussorgsky, and the contemporary sculpture. Rather than being a safe and familiar piece of music for tourists, it created an elegant and ironic close to a multileveled experience. Posted by Picasa