The interesting object shown here caught our marketing volunteer's eye on a rainy day in the West Cloister of the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum in Boston, and its singular beauty immediately inspired its use it to promote today's concert.
As seen through the textured glass window, all distinction of time and place are rendered indistinct, yet the enduring grace and elegance of this object are clear.
Those who have visited the Gardiner Museum know that, in keeping with its preservation as a historic home, there are no informational placards such as there would be in a typical museum. So our volunteer wrote to a museum curator to enquire, and received this information: "Godfrey Evans, Keeper of Metalwork and Sculpture at the Royal Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, examined this piece. He said that the piece is missing its defining element which would have been above the cup just above center. It is [very likely a] north Italian bell casing (which would have had a hook from which the bell was suspended)." It is about three feet high and crafted of wrought iron.
Isabella Stewart Gardiner loved Italian culture and art and visited Italy often, bringing back with her the treasures that fill her Italianate-styled villa on Boston's Fenway. Just as the museum remains as an enduring record of her life-long passion for Italy art and style, so does Mozart's music, including the Requiem, convey the grace and elegance of Italian music, particularly the melodic riches of the Italian operatic style.
The combination of straight structural elements with the arabesque, vine-like extensions inspired the use of a combination of fonts in the promotional image. On Sunday, listen particularly for the intertwining melodies of the Recordare, as four solo voices trace melodic patterns that are remarkably like the curving traceries of this intriguing object.