UM0937 Diane, Paysage et Silène

Cover image Diane, Paysage et Silène
Benoît Wery
Contents: Sonata for harp (see "contents" for details)
Instrumentation: Pedal Harp
Level: Advanced
Format: Stapled score
Size: 230 x 305mm
Pages of music: 16
Weight: 110gm
ISMN: 979-0-2309-7979-5
Our Ref: UM0749
Publisher: Henry Lemoine
Series ---
Edition/Year: 2003
Origin: France
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Contents & Composers notes


Diane, Paysage et Silène

Paysage avec figure


The painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875) is known above all for his luminous landscapes, some of which feature classical mythological or biblical figures. Corot was in fact less interested by historic scenes than by the study of light and nature (it was the landscape in the painting Silenus that made an impression during the 1838 Universal Exhibition), so that painters of the impressionist school came to recognise him as their predecessor.

Personally I too react as much to the landscapes as to the mythological content in Corot’s work; of the three paintings that inspired this sonata, two are based on scenes from Greek mythology:

— The first movement is based on Diana Surprised at her Bath, a dramatic tale since it recounts how Diana went on to punish Actaeon by transforming him into a stag so that he would be devoured by his own hounds. The musical content of this movement represents both this tragic metamorphosis and the power of the goddess.

— The second movement is the only non-mythological one of the triptych, Landscape with Figures, also known as La Toilette. This is a work of which Corot himself was particularly fond, understandably so, which shows another woman bathing in the open, surrounded by nature. I have subtitled this movement “Seduction”, in reference to the seductive glance that the main character is aiming at the viewer of the picture.

— The third movement is based on the painting Silenus, a mythical bacchanalian figure and companion to Dionysius. I have subtitled it “Exaltation” because of the exalted feelings that accompany dancing and inebriation.

Benoît Wery

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