Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Firebird

Memories: when I was an undergraduate I would cruise the sale bins at record stores (Record stores! Philip Glass, who I will sort of meet again tomorrow night, was the son of a record store owner in Baltimore. We bought and played LPs then! L'ancien rĂ©gime.) looking for new musical experiences. I remember buying a box set of the three early Stravinsky ballets. The Firebird was accessible yet invigorating. Petroushka was a stretch. The Rite of Spring was impenetrable, not the pinnacle of art I hear it as today. 

The association came from a work in the summer show at the Missouri Botannical Garden, Garden of Glass. (Mulit-level, no?) It features the work of artist James Mitchell Smith, mostly on display in the Climatron, mentioned in Tuesday's post. It is best seen illuminated by colored lights at night as here. Unlike a lot of art glass, the pieces are fused, not blown. How else could these feathers be created?

All contemporary art glass is inevitably compared to the work of Dale Chihuly. Several pieces of his work are scattered around the garden on permanent display. Once, while chatting with an artist friend, the subject of Chihuly came up. I asked the artist's opinion. "Too easy," he answered. I get it.

Big weekend on tap. We're taking Madeleine on her first trip up the Arch this afternoon. Tomorrow night Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents the American premier of Philip Glass' opera The Trial, based on the Kafka novel. The composer will be in attendance and there is an open reception afterward. I'm planning on bringing a small camera. 


Sharon said...

It will be interesting to hear what you think of the opera. When I worked in Chicago I saw a work with music by Philip Glass and the story directed by Mary Zimmerman. It was about the long forgotten Pharaoh Aknaten.
I'm so glad I was introduced to the brilliant works of Mary Zimmerman while I was there.

RedPat said...

Love that bird!

Paul in Powell River said...

Very, very nice. Some years back the Seattle Art Museum did a Chihuly exhibition that I took in, and as long as we're in a classical bent, at the same time Seattle Opera did a production of Pelleas et Melisande, that Chihuly did the designs for. Not glass of course, but in his same style. One of my opera highlights. Enjoy your opera tomorrow!

William Kendall said...

That is a beautiful work!

I've enjoyed his scores for films. I imagine his opera would be within his style.

s.c said...

Can't deny its a fire bird indeed. Very beautiful.