عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
This article addresses the opera “Matthias the Painter” by Paul Hindemith and the analysis of his symphony with the same name. The emphasis is on the social and artistic life of Mathias Grünewald (who was a painter and a renaissance artist) and how the events around him affected his works. This article attempts to show that expressionism in painting does not exclusively belong to the early twentieth century, and one can find traces of this philosophical perspective in the earlier centuries by looking at the works of artists such as Grünewald. Although Grünewald lived during the Renaissance era, his painting style is a display of neo-classical thinking whilst revealing an homage to the previous medieval mentality. He shows inclination towards unearthly scenes and particularly visualizing the duality of heavenly and earthly worlds as well as the infernal world; a subject which has been attended by very few painters. The use of contrast in colors indicates expressionistic atmospheres in the majority of his works. This made the expressionist painters of the early twentieth century such as Oscar Kokoschka and Max Beckmann inspired to study Grünewald’s style. In music, likewise, composers in favor of this movement such as Hindemith, with their specific neo-classical spirit, attempted to create works of this kind by combining expressionism and neo-classicism to achieve the connection between music and painting. In this set that includes symphony and opera, Hindemith initially plans an opera named “Matthias the Painter” in 1933. Concurrent with beginning to write the opera, as suggested by his friend, he started to also create a suite in three movements with the same name (it was later referred to as a symphony) which was inspired by three paintings in the Isenheim Altarpiece by Grünewald, namely “Concert of Angels,” “Entombment,” and “The Temptation of St. Anthony.” He finished writing the symphony in 1934 and one year later the opera was completed. The relation between the opera and the symphony of “Matthias the Painter” can be seen in the fact that the composer used all three symphony movements in the opera: he uses the first movement of the symphony, “Concert of Angels,” in the overture, the second movement, “Entombment,” in the seventh act of the opera, and the third movement, “The Temptation of St. Anthony”, in the sixth act. He adopts his musical experience as well as materials from the past such as common musical forms, orchestral timbres and old melodies such as cantus firmus (in first movement) and hallelujah (in the third movement) to interconnect the music of various eras. The symphony’s premiere, due to the unfavorable political situations in Germany during 1936, troubled the composer in a way that forced him to leave his country. Consequently, the premiere of the opera was also performed outside Germany in 1938 in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. In this set of opera and symphony, Hindemith seeks to create a coherence between music and painting in a way that enables him to describe the life and paintings of Mathias Grünewald.