Matisse Recital Luxe, Calme et Volupté
The musical tribute Matisse, 1917-1941, on the closing day of the exhibition offered a mosaic of pieces that match the wealth of emotional motifs and sources found in the paintings of this French artist. The rich variety of musical registers was a reflection of the voluptuousness of his palette, of the multiple unity in the painter’s work, of his themes and variations.
Featuring songs by Karol Szymanowski and Maurice Ravel, the recital exhibited the same taste for Orientalism that filled Matisse’s studio. His painting is also imbued with a Spanish air, evoked in the melody by Shostakovich that was performed; the voices of Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Aragon, whose poems were sung by Sylvie Robert; the perennial arabesque, which has a visual presence in Matisse and a sonorous presence in Debussy and the piano of Dimitri Vassilakis; and the rebellion of a creativity at crosscurrents, like that practised by Poulenc in the field of music.