On Thursday 25th March, the History of Art and Music Departments came together to stage their third annual evening celebrating the music and art of a distinctive cultural tradition. This year the theme was Jewish artists and composers, and the programme offered a rich survey of some of the key figures in the spheres of music, painting, and sculpture.
The musical programme began with the angular and technically dazzling 1st Movement of Gideon Klein’s String Trio performed with energy and skill by Poppy M, Lottie V, and Emily J. Like Poppy, the supremely gifted Bella B was offering Marlborough her swansong with a plaintive and poignant rendering of Gustav Mahler’s Oft denk ich, and further vocal contributions came from Neil S (Erich Korngold’s Glückwunsch, Toby M (Kurt Weill’s Stay Well), and Lottie V (Michael Tippet’s The Mother from Child of our Time). Instrumental performances ranged from Dima M’s virtuoso interpretation of Ernest Bloch’s Nigun, and the stirring folk strains of Larry Unger’s Klezmer Dances No. 1 and 2, played with appropriate vim by Flo M, Otto R, Paddy C, Maria T and Bo G.
The painters and sculptors surveyed between the musical performances ranged from Camille Pissarro (Matilda M), Amadeo Modigliani (Daisy D), Jacob Epstein (Olivia W), Mark Gertler (Aoife G), Charlotte Salomon (Clemmie C), Tamara de Lempicka (Lexi M), Marc Chagall (Ottilie G), Oscar Nemon (Iona G), and Hans Feibusch (Sienna M). Each artist was represented by one characteristic work projected on giant scale above the stage. It was poignant indeed to reflect upon the often-sorrowful biographies of the artists as the music played, and to note, too, how many artists survived the horrors of the mid twentieth century through the humane sanctuary of other nations. The evening ended with a rousing rendition of Leonard Bernstein’s America, a fitting way to celebrate the marvellous cultural tradition that had inspired the evening as a whole.
Head of History of Art