Friday, April 3, 2015


"The artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history."
AUTHOR: Robert Rauschenberg
"An artists creates art as a response to what he/she
  experiences during the course of a lifetime."

"This piece, in its geneology, is beyond our ken.
It is an inspiration of Joplin after reading
Alice in Wonderland, and is a psychological
phenomena. Particulars will be given on
application to the Stark Music Co., St. Louis."
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
Slower Tempo
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
Faster Tempo
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
Claude Monet: Bed of Chrysanthemums
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
Instrumental Version
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
Daniel Ridgway Knight: Chrysanthemums
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum
Instrumental Version
Barbara Prescott, Flute
David Irwin, Clarinet
Cory Hall, Piano
The ChrysanthemumThe ChrysanthemumThe Chrysanthemum

The Chrysanthemum, presented by Scott Joplin
with the subtitle, "An Afro-American Intermezzo,"
is a piano Intermezzo (a short or light
instrumental composition for piano) written in
1904 and dedicated to "Miss Freddie Alexander,
Little Rock, Arkansas" a reference to a young
lady of 19 that Joplin would marry (his second
wife) during the summer who would tragically
die of pneumonia just over twelve
weeks after they were married.
The origin of the name "The Chrysanthemum"
is not known, but Joplin frequently used the
names of trees and flowers for his works.
Although Ragtime was very popular it was
often seen as frivolous in nature and Joplin
strove to have the form taken seriously by
attempting to integrate classical formats into
this sycopated rhythmic style (thus the use
of the term "Intermezzo"). To that end he also
integrated classical music styles with ragtime
in a ballet and two operas he composed.
Just because The Chrysanthemum has
syncopated rhythms does make its style a
"rag." Technically it is not a piano rag
because there are no syncopated patterns
that extend over a bar line, and the only
recurring syncopation (measures 2,4, etc.
of section A and measures 3-4, etc. of
section B) is at the middle of a pattern and
within one bar line. Many artists and
scholars have differing opinions on this
point because like a rag it contains four
sections, a common trait of classic ragtime,
the fourth of which is a full-length repeated
interlude and also follows the harmonic and
modulation structure. Even though the
slightly "raggy" rhythms are present, Joplin
intended this piece to be an Intermezzo.
The melody line in the opening strain implies
many possible harmonic directions, some of
which are explored in the repeats with
counter-lines. The B section provides relief
from the moving line along with stark dynamic
contrast. The trio is in line with other Joplin
trios of that period, stated largely in thirds
and marked dolce, or "sweetly." The D
repeated section serves as an interlude
before a final repeat of C, and successfully
draws on the relative minor to great effect.
In comparison to most piano rags, The
Chrysanthemum is musically more chromatic.
Claude Monet
Keisai (Ikeda) Eisen: Chrysanthemums
James Jacques Joseph Tissot: Chrysanthemums
Gustave Caillebotte  Clump of Chrysanthemums (Garden at Petit Gennevilliers)   1890
Gustave Caillebotte: Clump of Chrysanthemums
Paul Cezanne: Chrysanthemums
Emil Carlsen: Chrysanthemums in a Canton Vase, 1893
Piet Mondrian: Chrysanthemums
Marc Chagall: Chrysanthemums
Claude Monet: Chrysanthemums
Abbott Fuller Graves, The Chrysanthemum Show, 19th century
Abbott Fuller Graves: The Chrysanthemum Show
Vrubel: Chrysanthemums, 1894
Leon Bonvin: Flowering Chrysanthemums with Worker
John Brack: Chrysanthemums, 1958
Egon Schiele: Chrysanthemum, 1910