FLORENTINE ARTS ENSEMBLE

Exploring musical inspiration within the fine arts

Projects

Here is a small selection of the many themes we have produced, inspired by specific art collections. We are often able to use a projector screen to portray and discuss images during our presentation should a gallery space be unsuitable, as well as musical extracts to give a greater understanding of the comparisons between the two art forms.

For concert venues we offer a selection of art inspired musical recitals adapted from the projects listed. Please get in touch for more information.

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Romantic Ideals

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German Romanticism was the primary movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and lead to a great flourishing across the arts. One artist in particular is synonymous with the movement- Caspar David Friedrich. His extraodinary landscape paintings encapsulate the romantic movement with his intense depiction of nature and symbolism, often with an undercurrent of religious mysticism.

He believed the artist should not only 'paint what he sees before him, but what he sees within him'. It is this introspection which dominates the romantic movement, and provides fascinating parallels between his paintings and the violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann.

The Musical Circle of John Singer Sargent

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The cosmopolitan American artist John Singer Sargent was arguably one of the finest portraitist's of his time. His studies in Paris coincided with the rise of the Impressionist artists for which he developed a fascination, leading to a life-long friendship with Monet and an intimate musical circle of friends with the composers Faure, Debussy and Ravel.

We perform violin sonatas by these three musical giants which directly link to his Impressionistic style of painting. Interspersed are recollections of his pianistic skills from his wide circle of musical friends, including his regular duo partner the American violinist Charles Loeffler, providing us with a unique insight into his musical life.

Musical Impressions

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Has Impressionist art influenced the composition of music? Can we hear the influences in the compositions of twentieth century? We explore these questions with a unique perspective on the development of Impressionism, from the birth of the movement with the core Impressionist artists such as Monet, Seurat and Renoir through to the post-Impressionist period. With musical offerings from Debussy, Ravel, Szymanowsky and Catoire.

Impressionism Series: From Turner to Monet

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Turner, the 'painter of light' is well known for his magnificently dramatic paintings, overflowing with drama and atmospheric colour effects.
But how many of us think of him as a revolutionary whose style laid the foundations for Impressionism?

In this event we discuss the increasingly experimental style of Turner's later years, his influence on his contemporary- the composer Debussy and the core Impressionist movement. With musical works by Catoire, Debussy and Szymanowsky spanning Turner's development as an artist.

A Dance to the Music of Time

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Poussin's 'A Dance to the Music of Time' is undoubtedly one of his greatest achievements and is widely considered a masterpiece of complex allegorical figures. It was given the alternative title of ‘La Danse des Saisons, ou l'Image de la vie humaine’ in a sale in 1845. The dancing figures have often been associated with the four seasons, and the FAE uses Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons' to represent this, complemented by the eighteenth century poet James Thomson's readings on this subject, to explore the many facets of Poussin's work.

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