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Art and Music Month

WFMT has a rich history as a radio station that embraces all of the fine arts. Since coming to this position in December, it was a dream of mine to somehow integrate visual art and music, and the visual component of a website makes this possible. Every day in July you will find not only musical compositions that were inspired by art (with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition being the most obvious and famous example), but also works about artists such as Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini and Ernst Bacon’s Remembering Ansel Adams. Then, there are composers who were themselves fine artists. We invite you to enjoy the watercolors of Felix Mendelssohn, for example, as we feature his music on air on July 25th, or drawings and sketches by George Gershwin on July 30th. You can view the featured artwork of the day below, while you listen to the music that goes with it on 98.7 FM.

Upcoming: Respighi’s Botticelli Triptych on July 31 at 2:00 PM.

Click here to see special WFMT member benefits during Art and Music Month.

Art and Music Month: Debussy

"Cat" by Koryusai

"Cat" by Koryusai

Debussy, along with several other French composers of the time, was strongly influenced by Japanese art works. This is one such inspired work, although the second of the three works is set in Grenada, Spain and the third is of goldfish in Debussy’s pond in France.

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Shostakovich and Michelangelo

"The School of Athens" by Raphael depicts Heraclitus (center left) laboring over some lines of verse; the figure of Heraclitus is said to be the likeness of Michelangelo

"The School of Athens" by Raphael depicts Heraclitus (center left) laboring over some lines of verse; the figure of Heraclitus is said to be the likeness of Michelangelo

The man who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel saw himself as a sculptor—he is one of the greatest, though his frescoes are no less exceptional; the same could be said of the dome he designed for St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo Buonarroti possessed talents of such a singular nature, one wouldn’t try to pin him to a single medium. When Dmitri Shostakovich turned to Michelangelo, it wasn’t the frescoes or the sculptures or the architecture that fired his imagination, but the poetry

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Art and Music Month: Ernst Bacon and Ansel Adams

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Hear music by Ernst Bacon at 2:00 PM on Monday inspired by the great American photographer Ansel Adams; they were very close friends, both being involved in environmental issues. Bacon was at Adams’ bedside when Adams died and wrote this work shortly thereafter. It doesn’t depict any particular work of Adams, only his personality and style.

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Art and Music: Berlioz

Basílica El Escorial Crucifijo by Benvenuto Cellini

Basílica El Escorial Crucifijo by Benvenuto Cellini

Hear Berlioz’s music inspired by Benvenuto Cellini, a true Renaissance man; living from 1500-1571, he was a leading sculptor, reportedly an excellent flutist, a goldsmith, a painter, a draftsman, and a soldier. The Florentine artist also served as papal stamp maker, designing coins and other images for official business. As a defender of Rome in 1527, he claimed to have shot the Prince of Orange and the Bourbon constable

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Art and Music Month: van den Sigtenhorst Meyer

Suruga Hill

Suruga Hill

On July 11 at 11:00 AM, hear Six Views of Mount Fuji (after Japanese Prints) by the Dutch composer Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer who lived from 1888-1953. When Japan opened its ports to foreign trade at the end of the 19th century, Japanese art made its way to the West. Japanese woodblock prints became wildly popular in Paris and London; they characteristically appear flat, due to the absence of shading and linear perspective

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Art and Music Month: Rachmaninoff and Reger

"Isle of the Dead" by Arnold Bocklin

"Isle of the Dead" by Arnold Bocklin

Hear Rachmaninoff’s symphonic poem “Isle of the Dead” after a painting by Arnold Böcklin at 9:00 AM, and a Reger piece inspired by the same painting at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, July 10. Böcklin made several versions of the painting of a white shrouded figure in a row boat, standing before a coffin on approach to the island. Reproductions became widespread

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Art and Music Month: Fibich

"The Dance of the Blessed Ones" by Fra Angelico

"The Dance of the Blessed Ones" by Fra Angelico

Hear the music on Tuesday at 5:00 PM. There are five great paintings depicted in this piano cycle by Czech composer Zdenek Fibich, which was composed in 1898 and 1899: “Forest Solitude” by Jakob van Ruysdael, “The Quarrel Between Shrovetide and Lent” by Pieter Brueghel, “The Dance of the Blessed Ones” is part of a triptych by Fra Angelico da Fiesole called “The Last Judgment”, “Io and Jupiter” is by Antonio Allegri da Corregio, and “The Garden Party” is by Antoine Watteau.

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Art and Music Month: Hindemith

Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

Hear Nobilissima Visione on Monday at 4:00 PM by Paul Hindemith, which were inspired by a trip to Florence. After seeing the 15th century frescoes by Giotto di Bondone which line the walls of the Bardi Chapel at the Basilica of Santa Croce, Hindemith was moved to write a ballet about the life of St. Francis of Assisi as depicted in those frescoes.

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Art and Music Month: Liszt

"Hunnenschlacht" by Wilhelm von Kaulbach

"Hunnenschlacht" by Wilhelm von Kaulbach

Hear Franz Liszt’s symphonic poem depicting “The Battle of the Huns” on Friday, July 5 at 3:00 PM. It’s inspired by a painting of the same name, “Hunnenschlacht.” Wilhelm von Kaulbach was a German artist who lived from 1805-1874. He is best known for his huge and dramatic murals, one of which inspired Liszt’s work.

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Art and Music Month: Bacon

Ernst Bacon Landscape

Ernst Bacon Landscape

On Thursday at 2:00 PM, hear a patriotic work by a composer/artist from Chicago. Ernst Bacon was born in 1898 and lived all the way to 1990. He lived most of his life in Syracuse, New York, and in California. He was active as a composer, pianist and conductor. This piece, of course, is inspired by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Pictured here are several of Bacon’s watercolors.

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