Today, I played Syrinx outdoors in Philadelphia. It was a meditation on the music, the city, and Fernand Léger. Still captivated by the exhibit on the Ballets Russes I saw at the National Gallery recently, I was thinking about Léger’s painting “La Sortie des Ballets Russes” (Exit the Ballets Russes). Painted in 1914, it precedes Léger’s famous “The City” by five years. The latter work is the cornerstone of “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis,” the exhibition coming to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in October. These works by Léger share angularity, bold color, jagged movement. Yet as I played, Debussy beguiled me and all was silken and sinuous.
Fernand Léger, “The City” (1919)