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Old 10-14-2019, 09:19 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover



The majority of my paintings are inspired, in part, by classic "literary" narratives: Greco-Roman Mythology, Biblical tales... and a good deal by classic Faerie Tales: Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel... and of course, Beauty and the Beast. I was surprised that there was no 19th or even early 20th-century ballet or opera or tone poem on the theme of Beauty and the Beast. I had to dig around a good deal until I found Georges Auric's film score of the French classic by Jean Cocteau of La Belle et la bęte:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsXkv1mpRUk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4sUnglqVdY

The trailers and various details from the film are quite evocative... but the copies of the entire film available on YouTube are rather crappy in terms of sound and the actual film image.

I have quite a few images on the theme of Beauty and the Beast... although no where near as many as I have on Death and the Maiden.

The artist of the image, by the way, is Thomas Blackshear.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:19 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

You should use some of your own work for this series of self-designed album covers. :-)

YouTube is rather inconsistent when it comes to films. Some are freely available, while with others copyright is strictly enforced. Rather peculiarly, they seem not to be all that strict when it comes to documentaries, or perhaps there are just fewer complaints.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:50 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover



I came upon this painting in my computer files and I immediately thought: A Midsummer Night's Dream... Shakespeare's faerie fantasy and Mendelssohn's lovely music.
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:48 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

It's a very nice design indeed. Nicer, in fact, than a great deal of what you see on actual CDs. I think you have an alternative career in you. :-)
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:57 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover



Benjamin Britten's classic take upon Henry James' psychological "ghost story/horror story": The Turn of the Screw.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:35 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

And what's the story behind the photo?
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:14 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

The photo is Winona Ryder in Francis Ford Coppola's film, Brahm Stoker's Dracula. I just chose the image because it was an ominous Victorian-era image... I actually didn't recognize Winona Ryder at the time. The tale of The Turn of the Screw centers upon a governess hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents. He is uninterested in raising the children and gives her full charge of the children and explicitly states that she is not to bother him with communications of any sort. Soon thereafter, around the grounds of the estate, the governess begins to see the figures of a man and woman whom she does not recognize. These figures come and go at will without ever being seen or challenged by other members of the household, and they seem to the governess to be supernatural. She becomes convinced that the two children are secretly aware of the "ghosts" presence... and that these "ghosts" are the spirits of the governess's predecessor, Miss Jessel, and another employee, Peter Quint, who had a sexual relationship. Before their deaths, Jessel and Quint spent much of their time with Flora and Miles and there is some suggestion of abuse. As the tale... a novella... unfolds, it becomes difficult to discern whether these "ghosts" are real or just a figment of the governess's overactive imagination. Either way, the governess's visions of the ghosts results in a tragic ending.

I just happened to have this image in one of my files on my hard drive which I was organizing and cleaning up. It just reminded me of James' tale which I'd read some years ago... more than the actual Britten opera.
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:41 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
The photo is Winona Ryder in Francis Ford Coppola's film, Brahm Stoker's Dracula. I just chose the image because it was an ominous Victorian-era image... I actually didn't recognize Winona Ryder at the time.

Neither did I! She's quite unrecognizable in this photo. But rather fittingly, the story you describe sounds a bit like an episode of Stranger Things. :-)



Art: Oleg Lomakin - Blockade of Leningrad
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:54 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover

Brian... that looks like Leningrad before the war. I'd almost want something more harrowing... horrific.
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:58 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover

Since I'm currently listening to the Mozart Quintets:

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Old 11-25-2019, 10:54 PM
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Re: Design your own album cover

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
Brian... that looks like Leningrad before the war. I'd almost want something more harrowing... horrific.

It was what I had available. :-)
But yes, that was probably the early days of the blockade. Or perhaps a Soviet artist painting a level of strength and fearlessness that did not and does not actually exist, because if he painted reality he might find himself signed up for, er, "re-education." :-)

I like your Mozart cover. Took me a moment to realize what it is!
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:50 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

Yes... I remember reading that Shostakovich was pressured into rewriting sections of this and other symphonies that the party felt were too negative. Can’t suggest that the Soviets were less than all triumphant.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:26 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
Yes... I remember reading that Shostakovich was pressured into rewriting sections of this and other symphonies that the party felt were too negative. Can’t suggest that the Soviets were less than all triumphant.

Triumph, of course, is meaningless if it is not in the face of tremendous adversity. You don't squash a bug and call it triumph. And adversity is, well, negative.

So either the Soviet victory is a glorious struggle against great odds, or they are supermen who can easily do whatever they want. Either they are human beings who experienced fear and desperation and overcame it (which is what real courage is), or they are super-powerful but not really human at all. They gotta make up their minds on this. :-)

It is perhaps for this reason that a symphony by Beethoven works better than the Leningrad - the struggle is real. Though I'll stick my neck out and say I do like the Leningrad too. But Shostakovich has done better.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:19 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

The Soviets can't admit that in spite of their superior political system they were caught with their pants down by the invading Germans. It would also be tremendously embarrassing to acknowledge that the vastly smaller nation of Germany was able to push so far into Russia while simultaneously running a war on the Western front. I read several narratives of the war that suggested that the Russian people almost embraced the German invaders after years of Stalin... and might have continued to do so had the Nazis not waged such a brutal war against the Russian people.
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:46 AM
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Re: Design your own album cover

It is perhaps for this reason that a symphony by Beethoven works better than the Leningrad - the struggle is real. Though I'll stick my neck out and say I do like the Leningrad too. But Shostakovich has done better.

Of course, the Eroica was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, who Beethoven believed embodied the democratic and anti-monarchical ideals of the French Revolution. In the autumn of 1804, Beethoven withdrew his dedication of the third symphony after Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon the composer broke into a rage and exclaimed, "So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of Man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!" Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor.

I've always preferred Shostakovich' "works for the drawer" as he termed them: compositions that were less public... less intended to salute the Soviets: the cello sonatas, the violin sonatas, the string quartets, the crazy opera, The Nose, and the 24 Preludes and Fugues. The last work, for example, offended by being overly "formalist" when Art/Music "should" pander to the correct emotions of the masses. Worse yet, it was an homage to J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and Bach was German and much of his music was religious. In many ways, Shostakovich just one more casualty of Stalin and the Soviets. On the other hand, his great Russian compatriot, Stravinsky, who had the good sense to leave Russia and never look back, produced what are arguably his finest works during his "Russian Period": Petrouschka, The Firebird, The Rite of Spring, Le Rossignol, and L'Histoire du soldat.
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