The link between music and painting is not a direct one. The aural and visual impacts of the two art forms are processed in different ways by our brains but we often feel that there ‘ought’ to be a connection. Certainly many of us experience images suggested to us by music as we listen to it. But there can be no doubt that hearing beautiful music in a beautiful setting is ideal. Rembrandt live provides just such an opportunity. The ever resourceful Australian Brandenburg Orchestra has devised programs for voice and baroque instruments inspired by Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age : Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum at the Art Gallery of NSW and which will be presented on a number of evenings this month.
The music is chosen by Paul Dyer and the presentation directed by John Bell. The exhibition, both handsome and elegant, includes, in addition to Rembrandt and Vermeer, portraits by Jan de Bray, landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, and gorgeous flower paintings by Jan Davidsz de Heem which were clearly the inspiration for the witty publicity shot (above) featuring musicians Melissa Farrow on baroque flute and Tommie Andersson on lute. Ranging from the dramatic, to evocative, to lighthearted, the performance weaves through warmly lit rooms of 17th-century paintings, literally taking the audience along with it. The performance is designed to complement the intense observation of nature and sensitivity to human emotion manifested in the exhibition.
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator Australia for less – just $20 for 10 issues