For his latest concert at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Beckwith Artist-in-Residence George Lopez put together a program inspired bythe theme of the the exhibit Second Sight: The Paradox of Vision in Contemporary Art, which runs until June 3, 2018. The show explores the challenge of going beyond the purely visual aspects of art, (“behind the eye,” as Lopez said in his introduction to the March 15 concert).
The works Lopez chose represent some of what he called the more “unusual,” or “extreme” aspects of great composers’ works and deal with particular challenges faced by artists in their struggle to be creative. J.S. Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 903) is an example of what he might have improvised toward the last couple of years of his life as he struggled with blindness. Felix Mendelssohn’s Variations Sérieuses opus 54, was written at a time when the composer had been disowned by his father, who felt his son had turned his back on his Jewish faith and identity.
In all, Lopez chose selections from works by eight composers spanning three centuries. This clip features the introduction to the Sonata in E major opus 109, by Ludwig van Beethoven, written in 1820 when the composer was struggling with profound deafness.