If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, May 23, 2014

None of this could have been foreseen by Bosch: the haunting refrain of the 600 year old butt song from Hell


None of this could have been foreseen by Bosch: the haunting refrain of the 600 year old butt song from Hell

Is it difficult to conceive that the group of damned souls in the right wing of Bosch’s Triptych which represents the Musicians' Level would sing a hymn from the musical score fixed to the reverse of the reclining figure in front of the ensemble, led by an infernal monster?  It could more likely be a parody.


Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings are packed full of vivid imagery and complex meanings.

By far the best known and most ambitious work, The Garden of Earthly Delights illustrates Bosch’s individual artistic style, containing the most vivid imagery and complexity of symbolic meaning. 

Bosch painted his three part masterpiece between 1490 and 1510 when he was around 50 years old. 

The open triptych shows three scenes. The left panel is dedicated to Paradise, with the creation of Eve and the fountain of life, while the right panel shows hell. The central panel gives its name to the entire piece, representing a garden of life’s delights or pleasures. Between paradise and hell, these delights are nothing more than allusions to sin, showing humankind dedicated to diverse worldly pleasures. There are clear and strongly erotic representations of lust, along with others, whose meanings are more enigmatic. The fleeting beauty of flowers and the sweetness of fruit transmit a message of fragility and the ephemeral character of happiness and enjoyment. This seems to be corroborated by certain groups, such as the couple enclosed in a crystal ball on the left, which probably alludes to the popular Flemish saying: “happiness is like glass, it soon breaks”.
BOSCH, Hieronymus Triptych of Garden of Earthly Delights

The triptych is generally thought to be a warning of the dangers of giving in to temptation, but has been subject to vast amounts of conjecture and scrutiny, and critics and historians are split in two directions. Whereas some believe that the middle panel, which depicts a fantastical world of nudes in sexual engagement, large fruits, and other suggestive elements, is simply an illustration of paradise lost, others believe that it is a moral warning, which will lead you to hell, as it is depicted in the third panel of the series. Although there are many contradictory explanations, it is generally thought to be a warning against lust, one of the seven deadly sins.
Triptych of Garden of Earthly Delights (right wing detail)

The picture shows a detail of the right wing which represents the Musicians' Level (after Fraenger).
Right Panel. Sheet music in question located in top left corner:
1480-1505. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.
In the Hell the normal relationships of the world are turned upside down. This is dramatically conveyed in the innocuous everyday objects which have swollen to monstrous proportions and serve as instruments of torture. One nude figure is attached by devils to the neck of a lute; another is helplessly entangled in the strings of a harp.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sumi Jo, Beautiful Challenge: 20th Anniversary

Sumi Jo, Beautiful Challenge: 20th Anniversary

A coloratura soprano who in the late 1990s became one of the most noticed new names on the international operatic circuit, Sumi Jo was a discovery of the flamboyant German conductor Herbert von Karajan. A striking beauty, she owed her initial celebrity in part to video: the conductor arranged for her a prominent role in his Karajan in Salzburg video production.

Sumi Jo was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1962. After studying both voice and piano from a young age, she dropped out of Seoul National University in 1983 to travel to Italy for study at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Among her teachers were Carlo Bergonzi and Grannila Bonelli. She graduated in 1985, with a concentration in keyboard as well as voice and over the next few years took top voice competition prizes in several countries, attracting the attention of Karajan. 

Her operatic debut came as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto in 1986, and two years later she performed in Un Ballo in Maschera under Karajan's baton. In the 1990s and early 2000s she was ubiquitous, singing in major capitals on nearly every continent. She won a Grammy award in 1993, and among her many recordings, her several portrayals of Mozart's vocally treacherous Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte have been especially noteworthy. In 2000, she began to see the fruits of Richard Bonynge's mentorship, refining her bel canto technique and preparing for a Carnegie Hall recital in February 2001.

Yuhki Kuramoto is a Japanese pianist and composer who writes primarily for the piano, though orchestral arrangements for some of his pieces exist. Born in Urawa-ku, Saitama, Kuramoto studied the piano from an early age. At school, he studied Rachmaninoff and performed as a part-time soloist in orchestras. He later went on to study at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and obtained a master’s degree in Applied Physics. Kuramoto chose to become a musician.

Kuramoto concentrated on the performance of the piano, the composition and arrangement of classical music and popular music. As a professional musician, his interests span genres from classical to folk songs and popular music. Kuramoto never attended a music conservatory and attained his knowledge mostly through self-study. At the age of 35, Kuramoto had the first of his CD published. To this day, he has published 18 CDs. Kuramoto's style of music shows influence from a variety of composers from different periods, most notably, by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Ravel.

Concert for celebrating Sumi Jo’s 20th world Operatic Debut

Sumi Jo – Beautiful Challenge

Performer Sumi Jo (Soprano)

Yuhki Kuramoto (Pianist)
Jung Hak Seo (Baritone)
Taekyung Im (Crossover Tenor)
Guitar Quartet Libra
Mostly Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
Jung Ho Pak (Conductor)

Studio: Universal Music
Genre: Classical Music


01. Johann Strauss II: Die Fledermaus - Ouverture
02. Jacque Offenbach: Valse Tyrolienne from 'Le mari a la porte'
03. Georg Friedrich Handel: Lascia Ch'io Pianga from 'Rinaldo'
04. Franz Lehar: I Love You So from 'Merry Widow'
05. Stanly Myers: He was beautiful (Cavatina from 'Dear Hunter')
06. Sebastian Yradier: La Paloma
07. Frank Wildhorn: Once upon a Dream from 'Jekyll and Hyde'
08. William Balfe: I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls from 'The Bohemian Girl'
09. Alan Menken: Beauty and the Beast - Duet
10. Ennio Morricone: Nella Fantasia (Gabriel's Oboe from 'Mission')
11. Yuhki Kuramoto : Memory of Love
12. Yuhki Kuramoto : Virgin Road
13. Korean Traditional : Bird Song
14. Doo Nam Cho : Sun Gu Jah
15. Johann Strauss II: Blue Danube
16. Andrew L. Webber: Musical Medley
17. Giacomo Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro from 'Gianni Schicchi'
2006. Sep. 3
Seoul Art Center Concert Hall

DVD 2 : Recital with pianist Vincenzo Scalera

01. George Hrederic Handel : Da Tempeste from oera
02. Antonio Vivaldi : 'Sposa son disprezzata' from opera
03. Antonio Vivaldi: Agitata Da Due Venti from 'Griselda'
04. Eva Dell'Acqua : Villanelle; J'ai vu passer l'hirondelle
05. Charles Gounod : Serenade: Quand tu chantes
06. Adolphe Adam : Ah vous dorais-je mama from opera
07. Jung Jun Ahn : Ari Ari Rang
08. Johann Strauss II: Wo die Zitronen bluhn Op.364
09. Vincenzo Bellini : 'Eccomi Oh ! quante volte' from
10. Giusseppe Verdi : Recitativo and aria 'E strano Ah Forse lui Sempre libera' from opera
11. Jacque Offenbach : Les oiseaux dans la charmille
12. Il Nam Jang : I'm still waiting You
2006. Sep.27
Seoul Art Center Concert Hall

Watch LIVE video Featuring Track 11 MBC epic drama "Ju-mong" O.S.T. (2006)
Yuhki Kuramoto : Memory of Love ---->