The last day of Women’s History Month. How do we end this? With a music tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe! Out of the Museum Music series CDs that I own, she stands as the only woman with an album of music that pays tribute to her and her artwork. How do I feel about O’Keeffe? I find her artwork lovely and her life fascinating. I always enjoy the color scheme and realistic look of her paintings. So click on the link and let us see what kind of music the Museum Music people thought would fit with the art of O’Keeffe.
Bargemusic’s version of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major begins the album with a playful atmosphere. For me, the song gives an aural interpretation of a butterfly dancing among the flowers.
Beethoven’s Sonata No. 5 in F Major Op. 24 also known as Spring by Aaron Rosand continues this atmosphere, only with more emphasis on the violin and piano. The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic with their version of Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 56 slows things down a bit for a sublime execution with the orchestra backing up the piano. On the other hand, it slows down to the point that one forgets about it while working on an activity. Good thing or bad thing, I cannot say.
James Tocco’s Tango for Piano makes for a lovely and vibrant composition. Composed by Stravinsky, it makes for a delightful and forceful song that suggests the cityscape paintings created by Georgia. On an unrelated note, this song also reminded me of soundtracks for silent films and how they punctuated the story with their music.
A long and contemplative track, Aaron Copland’s Quiet City by the English Symphony Orchestra. Listening to it, it automatically made me think of O’Keeffe’s cityscapes. Plus, the song brings images of a city at night, whose only light comes from the towering skyscrapers. Also has a Jazz tinge to it. Plus, the middle section has this gorgeous and sublime feel that washes around me. All this comes thanks to the trumpet and clarinet performing. Finally, the orchestra creates this gorgeous crescendo that gives a feeling of transcendence while the clarinet quietly plays.
After that, we listen to a track that pays tribute to the artist by Dan Rosengard. The song goes by the name O’Keeffe’s Colors. Does this song make me think of Georgia’s paintings? Not really. Does that make this song bad? Absolutely not. It makes for a fun track, the way it changes from somber to cheery in one section. I especially love the piano and the dramatic mood it creates. It does stand out among the chosen tracks in this album. One can also tell that this came from a more contemporary era too. I write this because the next song comes from Peter Frankl performing Impromptus, Op. 90. Such a deliriously fast track, I half expected the piano player to pass out from exhaustion from the beginning as that person went up and down the keys with incredible speed. Primavera Chamber Ensemble’s Octet in E Flat, Op. 90 changes the mood with a more voluptuous feel but it maintains the same speed of the earlier track.
Alicia Zizzo, the only female name featured, gives the listener the longest track on the album. She perform’s Gershwin’s Lullaby-Original Piano Version. Honestly? Not the most memorable track. It does not feel contemplative, it just meanders. While it does pick up the pace about seven minutes into this nine minute track, it still stays in that same meandering tone. Further towards the end, Alicia plays the piano with a spritely execution, but it feels too little too late.
After that, we return to the fast tempo theme with Bach’s Partita #3 in E-Gavotte on Rondeau. Performed by Andres Segovia and his guitar, this song has a nice fluttering quality. A very pretty track.
Then, Alfred Brendel performs Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #23 in F Minor, Op. 57. The song comes from the Andante Con Moto from Appassionata. I do not think it represents O’Keeffe’s work all that well. While a pretty song, yes, but not the best choice.
The last song comes from Interpreti Veneziani and the song Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The shortest song on the track, it ends the album on a nice contemplative note. The violin solo leads so beautifully. Plus, the background section has this great playful that resembles a clock ticking.
My verdict? Despite a few missteps, I still enjoyed this album.
However, do you think this music represents Georgia O’Keeffe?