Yet more self-indulgence on my part!

All-star Superman written by Grant Morrison ; pencilled by Frank Quitely

DC Comics, c2007

DC Comics, c2007

Some comic book characters come and go, but Superman appears to be eternal and subject to endless reinvention. This series , created by Scottish duo Grant Morrison (writer) and Frank Quitely (artist), is arguably one of the most complex and original takes on this iconic character to appear in many years; and Quitely’s art is breathtakingly beautiful. The plot? Superman is dying, read on…..

Médée: tragédie lyrique by Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Armide, 2005

Armide, 2005

I have touched on my love of French baroque music in previous posts, so this probably won’t come as any great surprise. Charpentier, unlike his contemporary and rival Lully, was most famous for his sacred works but he was no slouch when it came to writing operas either, and his version of Medee is now considered one of the pinnacles of tragedie lyrique. This concert performance comes from the beautiful theatre at Versailles, but the intensity of the performers is such that costumes and scenery seem superfluous; and if looks could kill the great Stephanie D’oustrac as Medee would be in the slammer right now!

Visions of Japan : Kawase Hasui’s masterpieces

Hotei Pub., 2004

Hotei Pub., 2004

Hasui was one of the great masters of 20th century Japanese printmaking, and his lovely works clearly exist within an older Japanese artistic tradition whilst incorporating some of the techniques and stylistic devices being brought in from the west. In many ways his landscapes and urban scenes gently document a country in transition, an almost feudal Japan slowly giving way to an inexorable 20th century.

Edward Hopper’s New England by Carl Little

Pomegranate Artbooks, 1993

Pomegranate Artbooks, 1993

I love the paintings of the great American realist Edward Hopper, and I love the idea of New England (don’t ask….) so this book is a natural. We often think of Hopper as a documenter of urban alienation, and there’s definitely some of that in these works, but the sense of luminous space he captures seems light years away from the film-noirish menace of a work like Nighthawks.

 

To end, click on this link for a taste of Medee, and a glare from Stephanie!

Stephanie D'oustrac in Medee

Stephanie D'oustrac in Medee

 

 

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