I am enamored with the psychology of Goya, with his palette, with him, with his muse the Duchess of Alba, with his quarrels with his models, his loves and flatteries. That whitish pink of the cheeks, contrasting with the blend of black velvet; those subterranean creatures, hands of mother-of-pearl and jasmine resting on jet trinkets, have possessed me.” – Enrique Granados
Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition might be the most famous, but it is hardly the only instance of visual art inspiring timeless musical compositions. Enrique Granados, for one, was utterly enchanted by the eye of his countryman Francisco De Goya (1746-1828), whose paintings moved the Spanish composer to write first a piano suite, and then an entire opera based on the painter’s output.
Even though it’s rare to hear the fully-staged production these days, the evocative Intermezzo from the opera – particularly in the version for cello and piano – has become an audience favorite. Here in Staunton, for example, our Heifetz Institute audiences quickly became enamored with the prodigious playing of 13-year-old cellist Chelsie Lim, one of the participants in the 2017 HeifetzPEG program for exceptional young string players aged 8-13.
Here she performs Gaspar Cassadó‘s arrangement of the Intermezzo, with pianist Lynne Mackey. It’s captured in concert at Mary Baldwin University‘s Francis Auditorium in Staunton, VA, home to the Heifetz International Music Institute. You can find out more about the Heifetz Institute and its pioneering HeifetzPEG program here.