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I had always loved the paintings of Bosch and Bruegel. So I turned to my «Great Masters of Art» edition of Bruegel, and soon something started to «speak» to me. Perhaps it was Bruegel’s sense of the comic and grotesque. Perhaps it was his suggestion that human folly is timeless. I soon found myself «hearing » Bruegel. What I was hearing was the tuba in a surprisingly «ancient » surrounding. I started looking for those paintings that most suggested musical irony. Having found those paintings, «Bruegel- Dance Visions » began almost write itself!
Aubade - The Misanthrope: A gloomy old man moves through an empty landscape, unaware of the thief behind him. Neither hypocrite or miser, the Misantrope is much to blame for his own misery. All humanity is his thief.
Estampie - Children’s Games: We gaze down upon a city square overrun by ungainly, blank-eyed children; leapfrogging, jumping through hoops, bashing, gouging, diving headlong into barrels, a grotesque pageant of human folly.
Pavanne - Land of Cockaigne: A soldier, peasant and clerk lay in bloated stupor, beneath a tree. With no bonds of conscience, they have entered Cockaigne, where gluttony is righteous and decency a disgrace.
Rondeau - Struggel Between Carnival & Lent: A pre-lenten carnival is in progress; a pageant of dissolute humanity. On the left, carousing, debauching, the fatted-calf on the spit. On the right, dour bells usher in Lent; cripples, alms-givers, nuns in sobriety, feeding on fish-scraps. The Misanthrope reappears, reminding us that false piety is no better than cheap revelry.
Arthur B. Rubinstein
- keyboard, viola, violoncello, bass, harp, percussion
- Editions Bim