Daily Classical Music Post
Today is the anniversary of the birth of the great Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio (21 December 21, 1401–some time in the autumn of 1428).http://grooveshark.com/s/Through+Eden+s+Gates/4YQ3Vd?src=5
Masaccio (born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone), whose name is a play on the nickname for Tommaso meaning "messy Tom," was one of the most influential Quattrocento artists. His ability to depict human figures was unparalleled at the time, and he was also one of the first painters to use linear perspective in his work. He aimed to paint more realistic scenes.
One of my favourite Masaccio frescoes is from the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine church, Florence, Italy. The first time that I went to Florence, I kept going back to the church because it was constantly "closed for restoration" and I just had to get in to see his Explusion from the Garden of Eden.
What I didn't know at the time was that the painting was being cleaned and restored to its original look. Roughly three hundred years after Masaccio painted the Explusion,
Cosimo III de' Medici decided that fig leaves had to be added to cover up the nude figures of Adam and Eve. When I studied the work in my Italian Renaissance Art class, all the textbooks showed it with fig leaves. Now, if you go to the church, you will see it as Masaccio intended.
The American composer William Bolcom wrote The Garden of Eden
in 1969. This suite, in four movements (Old Adam, The Eternal Feminine, The Serpent's Kiss, and Through Eden's Gates), tells the story of the Fall in ragtime. Originally written for solo piano, Bolcom later arranged the suite for two pianos.
My classical music post for today is Through Eden's Gate, the fourth rag of Bolcom's suite The Garden of Eden.
Bolcom describes the piece this way: it "conjures the magic of Adam and Eve calmly cakewalking their way out of Paradise."