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Bela Bartok - Op. 6; 14 Bagatelles for Solo Piano (Score & Audio)

The 41-story First National City Bank Building at 399 Park Avenue. Carson & Lundin-Kahn & Jacobs. Architects. View looking northeast from Park Avenue and 52nd Street in the Spring of 1961. The 38-story Seagram Building (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-Phillip Johnson-Kahn & Jacobs, 1958) are visible at right.

Photo: Ezra Stoller.

Source: Stern, Robert. A.M. Mellins, Thomas. Fishman, David. “New York 1960. Architecture and urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial” (New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997).

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The Collège Protestant Français de Jeunes Filles in Beirut by Michel Écochard in 1961. The architect introduced many philosophies of Le Corbusier and modernism to the Middle East through this and other similar public projects. The design plays with light and shadows as well as the purity of white and simple lines. It allows for an optimistic space of learning and creativity unseen in French schools before this era.

… I was struck by something [Stravinsky and Picasso] really do share. Stravinsky’s musical conversations were with the past – with Bach, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Monteverdi, Pergolesi, Mozart and Russian folk music – and it was the way he refracted these models through the prism of his thick, modernist glasses that defines so much of his music. Similarly, […] Picasso’s main source of inspiration was the great traditions of El Greco, Velázquez, Delacroix, Manet, Poussin and Van Gogh, precisely the styles of painting that many of his contemporaries thought he was so violently rupturing.

That was never true for either Stravinsky or Picasso: instead of doing violence to the past, they wanted to be thought of as part of the musical and artistic canon. There’s a hubris in this as well, as if the only people who could measure up to them were the old masters rather than any of their contemporaries. Both of them knew how good they were, and both self-consciously positioned themselves as the ne plus ultra of modernity.
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