21 February 2010

BBC Symphony to Premiere Ian McQueen's "The Earthly Paradise"

On 10 April, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will present the world premiere of The Earthly Paradise, a setting of prose, poetry, and sayings by William Morris composed by Ian McQueen. The complete program is as follows:
Elger, In the South (Alassio)
Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto
Ian McQueen, The Earthly Paradise (BBC commission)
Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Jennifer Pike violin
BBC Symphony Chorus

Wednesday, 10 April 2010
7.30 p. m.
Barbican Hall
London EC2Y 8DS UK
020 7638 8891
The search for the land where "none grow old" guides the twists and turns of William Morris’The Earthly Paradise. Ian McQueen’s new work for chorus and large orchestra evokes the extraordinary world of the poet, surges with erotic charge and conjures up Morris’s magical vision of Iceland’s landscape and sagas. Jennifer Pike made headline news eight years ago as the youngest ever winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year. Tonight she applies her special artistry and √©lan to Mendelssohn’s evergreen Violin Concerto.

The concert is preceded by a Study Afternoon on "The Writings of William Morris"
Fiona McCarthy, author of the Wolfson History Prize-winning biography of William Morris introduces Morris and his writings. Clive Wilmer, poet, editor of Morris’s poetry and expert on Ruskin and his contemporaries, discusses Morris’s writings and Fiona McCarthy interviews composer Ian McQueen on his use of Morris’s poetry for his new work Earthly Paradise. The afternoon ends with a roundtable discussion and an opportunity for questions from the audience. Free to ticket-holders for the evening concert but separate ticket required.

10 February 2010

Website for Facing the Late Victorians

A follow-up to one of our earlier posts: there is now a website for the Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner exhibition at the Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa, FL. The exhibition, which contains portraits of Edward Burne-Jones, William and May Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Swinburne, Alfred Tennyson, and Kate Greenaway, runs from 5 March through 5 June 2010.

Illustration: Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Tennyson (The Dirty Monk), photograph, albumen, [1865] (Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library).

Frederick Evans's Photographs of Kelmsoctt Manor Featured in Exhibition

A series of wonderful photographs of Kelmscott Manor are featured in a new exhibition, A Record of Emotion: The Photographs of Frederick H. Evans, on view at the Getty Center in Los Angeles from 2 February through 6 June 2010.

Frederick H. Evans (British, 1853–1943) was best known for his photographs of medieval cathedrals, such as the image at right of England's Wells Cathedral—arguably the best-known example of his work. Yet Evans was also accomplished in the areas of portraiture, landscape, and photomicrography (photography made using a microscope), and he brought to each subject the same intensity that characterizes his cathedral images. He believed firmly that only a good negative would yield the perfect print, and his high standards for presentation extended to the elaborate mounting of the actual photographs. Using both a "straight" approach (not altering his negatives) and pictorial sensitivity to subject and style, Evans's work, created more than 100 years ago, continues to move and inspire.

In this exhibition, Evans's cathedral subjects are displayed alongside rarely seen landscapes of the English countryside and intimate portraits of the artist's family and friends, including writer George Bernard Shaw and artist Aubrey Beardsley.

Kelmscott Manor was built in the late 1500s adjacent to the river Thames. Since 1871 the Tudor farmhouse had been the summer home of William Morris, leader of the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Kelmscott Manor played a key role in Morris's life; he used it in his novel about a utopian socialist society, News from Nowhere, and even named his private press after it.

In a series of photographs Evans made of Kelmscott in 1896, he approached his subject with a technique similar to that used for his cathedral pictures. He studied the location and considered the architectural space in a series of views that sought to capture the soul of the place—the unspoiled craftsmanship and organic feel that attracted Morris. Together the photographs are a symbolic portrait of William Morris.

Evans's photographs of Kelmscott's sparse loft are arguably some of the most spiritual of his career. Replete with symbolism—from the rough-hewn beams that suggest the Christian cross to the light that emanates from the doorway and beckons the viewer to ascend and cross the threshold from one room (or state of being) to another—the photographs have a mystical aura.
6 February–6 June 2010
200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 440-7300