Today I went with Virginia Staats, Inge Rider and Ruth Roberts to the Bach Cantata at the Blanton Museum of Art. This is the first time Ruth has gone with us. It was very nice to have her join us.
The cantata today was "Christen, Ätzet Diesen Tag” (Christians, Engrave this Day), composed c. 1714. This is the first cantata that Bach composed for Christmas Day. It is rare in that there are no arias, no chorale and no direct biblical quotations. Also, the scoring calls for at least four trumpets, timpani, two oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo.
The featured art was “The Adoration of the Magi”, oil on canvas, c. 1730, by Anton Kern 1710-1747. Anton Kern was the leading painter of his time in Prague and Dresden. His specialty was cabinet pictures. It was one of four paintings representing scenes from the youth of Christ that once hung in the residences of the Counts Czernin at Prague. "The Adoration of the Magi" was painted during Bach's lifetime, which makes it especially fitting as the companion piece of art for this cantata. It is part of the Suida-Manning Collection.
After the tour by the docent, we went to the modern art section to see “New York at Night” 1915, oil on canvas, by Max Weber 1881-1961. Max Weber was one of the first American artists to adapt the principles of European modernism to specifically American subject matter. This painting has been featured on my church’s bulletin this month and I wanted to see it.
We had lunch at the Blanton Café and then browsed in the Blanton Gift Shop. None of us bought anything, though. We had a good time.