Visual art and music have sometimes intersected; Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is a good example. To that end, the Goyescas of Enrique Granados were performed in conjunction with the showing of Goya portraits at the National Gallery in London.
“I fell in love with the psychology of Goya and his palette,” wrote brilliant composer-pianist Enrique Granados at the beginning of an evocative paean prefacing his six original Goyescas of 1909-11, finely-wrought gems of the piano repertoire. In love, too, are most of us who have gaped with awe at the astonishing range and careful selection of portraits in the current National Gallery exhibition – one of its best ever, equal in revelation to the recent Rembrandt spectacular.
No-one wants music to distract from the detailed contemplation of all those Spanish nobles, intellectuals and craftsmen; the overload of sound and image is always too much, even when pertinent. But music could have played more of a part in the programme of events associated with the Goya portraits exhibition over the past few months. Just before show’s end this Sunday, though, two young protégés of the Park Lane Group’s quality programme made the resonant best of the Gallery’s domed Room 36 with the complete Goyescas – looked down on by four full-length 18th century portraits, two small but significant Goyas passed on the way to take our (free) seats.