09 March 2009

Two cartoons: Ensemble and Orchestra


(L'ensemble Instruemntal Paul Poulignot, Jean-Jacques Sempé, image from delcampe)

About 12 years ago, when I was still a postgraduate student at NTU, I was once intrigued by a picture titled L'ensemble instruemntal Paul Poulignot by the French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé. Despite the small number of musicians and incorrect instrumental combination, I believe this picture to be a representation of an 'orchestra' which has just delivered Maurice Ravel's famous one-movement orchestral piece Boléro.

In this work, the snare drum has to tapped out the unchanging rigid ostinato (as illustrated below), while maintaining the rhythmic pattern and creating a steady crescendo, throughout the whole piece for about fifteen minutes. Therefore, at the end of the performance a special compliment from the conductor and a thundering ovation from the audience are usually given to the percussionist who plays it.

bolero ostinato
(The snare drum ostinato in Boléro )

I saw a framed poster of this picture at a bookshop but couldn't afford it. Fanne bought it in secret and made it my 23rd birthday gift in 1998.

Several years later, I was fascinated by another picture titled Orchestra, painted by another French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Loup (by coincidence, another Jean-Jacques). In this one, it is neither the percussionist nor any other member in the orchestra that is featured, but rather, a locksmith working on the grand piano while the orchestra, the choir and the organist are waiting on stage.

Loup
(Orchestra, Jean-Jacques, image from zooscape)

While I can find a touch of Boléro in Sempé's cartoon, I have no idea what is to be played on stage in Loup's picture. All I want is a poster but somehow this picture is only available in jigsaw, and a not-for-sale free poster only comes within every pack of jigsaw purchased. I have been hesitating whether I should spend 50 USD for a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle just for the complimentary poster.

I gave in last weekend. I'll just frame Loup's Orchestra and hang it beside Sempé's L'ensemble Instruemntal for the time being, and think about how to deal with the jigsaw in the far future.

5 comments:

HENRY said...

我也有買Sempé的一本漫畫書,裡面都是音樂演奏者,當年是受一個師大音樂系網友影響而買的。我考上地方特考五等一般行政,還不知道會分在何單位,總之會在台北市。不過五等只是初階公務員,還會繼續考下去。

Wei said...

亨利同學,真是恭喜,分發到台北,往後碰面的機會多一點吧!公職會越來越搶手,你先卡個位,可喜可賀。
我真想買 Loup 的作品集,可惜他的大幅作品都只跟拼圖公司合作。

HENRY said...

Loup印象中好像也只在雷諾瓦之類的看過,不出書真的有點可惜。

HENRY said...

花兩年追到實在很有毅力,不知有什妙招?我下週二就離開學校,要去松山區公所報到。我在想要不要離開之後在她部落格直接告白了,還是要慢慢拖。

HENRY said...

絕望了啦!
對方在奇摩交友馬上交到新男友