The Nativity in Italian Art and Music with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

The Nativity in Italian Art and Music with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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The musical soundscapes accompanying Nativity scenes in Italian art range from singing angels and soft-voiced lutes to earthy shepherds playing bagpipes and reedy shawms. This talk explores the connections between images and sounds - real or implied - and the ways in which artists and composers use music to suggest the immaterial divine or to evoke idealized pastoral settings, triggering forgotten memories of Eden or Arcadia. We explore Nativity tableaux by Bronzino, Domenichino, Giotto, Giovanni della Robbia, and Piero della Francesca, with musical illustrations of songs and lullabies, and the Italian folk traditions that inspired celebrated Christmas music by Bach, Berlioz, Corelli, and Handel.

Led by an expert on Italian culture and music, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this interactive seminar will discuss how images and music were intended to illuminate the darkest month of the year. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the connections between art, music, and devotion in the Renaissance.

Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici and at the British Institute in Florence. She has published extensively as an academic, a critic, and a journalist, and is a regular contributor to BBC Music and The Daily Telegraph. From 1989, for 17 years, she was a producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London. She did her MPhil thesis in Italy, exploring the musical and cultural landscape of 15th-century Florence.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
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Another fascinating talk by Kate
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A Christmas Miracle

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
100%
(12)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
D
D.
Another fascinating talk by Kate
A
A.
M
M.M.
A
A.
A
A.
A Christmas Miracle