Elevenses at The Joan: Looking at art and music

Impressionism: What is the compelling allure?.

Impressionism: What is the compelling allure?.

This month, lecturer in music, Dr Paul Smith (University of New England), and Penrith Regional Gallery Director, Sheona White, will guide audiences through two enlightening mornings of insight and discovery with 20th Century Music Trends on Monday, October 14, and French and Australian Impressionism on Monday, October 21.

Each talk will begin at 11am with refreshments and a light morning tea, and finish at 12.30pm with a short break in the middle with a short Q&A at the end.

For music insights, Dr Smith will consider The Great Divide: Music Trends in the Early 20th Century.

During the first half of the 20th century, new musical languages were being developed across Europe, America and Australia. Many composers had to choose which camp they would side with.

There was extensive pressure to adopt serialism, argued by Schoenberg as the music of the future, or continue using classical structures but deal with the pressure of finding ways to reinvent these ideas and forms. The result was a difficult period for composers and audiences alike.

Out of this period comes some of the most thrilling, inventive, and highly regarded pieces of music, including Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Copland's Appalachian Spring and Rachmaninov's three piano concertos. Dr Smith will also look female composers who made their mark, such as Ruth Crawford Seeger in America and Lili Boulanger in France.

On October 21, Sheona White explores French and Australian Impressionism.

Exhibitions of Monet and Van Gogh are well known to draw huge crowds and long queues all around the world. What is the compelling allure of their paintings?

French Impressionism arose at a time of great change and the paintings often depict scenes of leisure in public parks and gardens, yet they also depict the work that goes into these pleasurable pursuits.

The artists of Australian Impressionism were thought to be the first to capture a real Australian landscape in oil paint, evoking many fascinating insights into the life and times of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Elevenses at The Joan, see www.thejoan.com.au.