Painting as Prototype of a Music Work: “Maud Lewis Smile” by Nikolai Korndorf


The article deals with the problem of interaction between two arts, music and painting, on the basis of programmatic of music work. The author provides some examples of such interaction (specific paintings or genres like a piece of painting, a portrait, a sketch that appears in the title of a music work). As an analysis example, the author considers Nikolai Korndorf’s play for small symphony orchestra “Maud Lewis Smile.” The reason for creating the play was the paintings and fate of the Canadian artist. Regardless of serious illness (hands disfigured from the time of childhood) Maud Lewis didn’t lose positive outlook and kind attitude towards the world (this is why the title has the word “smile”). Similar to the paintings of the artist, the music pieces created by Nikolai Korndorf shine bright sunny colours and full of unshadowed joys of life. Music idiom is very simple, like in a children song (so too Maud Lewis did her painting in folk-style primitivism). Freely utilized technics of minimalism, often used by Nikolai Korndorf together with other compositional technics, correlates with music imagery. “Maud Lewis Smile” is one of the lucid pieces by Nikolai Korndorf, and the typical for the dramaturgy of his music works downturn at the end is like «a beautiful moment being stopped».

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