Spring is the season of colour and much brightness. Invigourating vibrancy takes a hold of our minds and puts us in the mood to persevere and pursue. All those who have survived the revelries of Holi will know this, as they slowly amble back to activity.
The coming of spring has also been influential to many artistes, who choose to express themselves through their creativity, be it painting, music or cinema. One of the great painters of the renaissance era, Sandro Botticelli used such elements in much of his artistic expression, with one of his most famous pieces being The Birth of Venus.
But it is his other masterwork, painted in 1482, called Primavera, that takes ones breath away. Although his work was often upstaged by his contemporaries at the time, such as Raphael, Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, his position in art remains unchallenged.
Cinema has countless memories that have been so integral to spring. Our very own Hindi films have had countless songs with singing and dancing in gardens laden with flowering bushes and gushing fountains, set amidst green pastures.
All the films of the ’50s and the ’60s that were shot in Kashmir, the ’70s in Himachal Pradesh, and the North of India in the ’80s, all tried to evoke that colourful and gay(as in happy) spirit of spring, giving us a feel of foreign locations like Switzerland and Amsterdam.
Movies paying tribute
Hollywood and world cinema have also had its share of romantic comedies set amongst the springtime of exotic locations, such as Billy Wilder’s Love In the Afternoon, William Wyler’s Roman Holiday, Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset and Robert Mulligan’s Come September, among many, many others.
But through all this, it is music that keeps the spirit of spring alive. Classical music fans will no doubt recall the joyous, Spring concerto by Vivaldi, from his Four Seasons symphony. Beethoven’s Spring sonata no 5 is probably one of the most sublime pieces on spring ever written. I would like to urge you to discover little known Benjamin Britten, who lived and worked in the middle age of the 20th century. A British composer and conductor, who sought to set himself apart from his contemporaries, wrote and conducted his very own ‘Spring symphony’, and it remains one of the great classical pieces of the 20th century.
Another seminal 20th century composition is the famous Igor Stravinsky’s classical ballet, ‘The rite of spring’, a perfect example of the symbiosis of art, music and dance, the choreography having been set by the legendary Vaslav Nijinsky, and sets and costumes having been designed by Russian artist, Nicolas Roerich. American conductor, Leonard Bernstein was perpetually in awe of the piece and remained an eternal devotee.
So as you all prepare for the end of the financial year or for your examinations or for your upcoming holidays, I wish you all a happy spring time and hope the summer doesn’t get too harsh this year (alas!)... if I may say so.