I've had the chance to personally review a few of the growing number of Van Gogh CDs and CD-ROMs, but I'll be expanding this list in the weeks and months to come.
- Dutch pianist, Marcel Worms, has arranged a compilation of music in honour of the Washington and Los Angeles exhibit
"Van Gogh's Van Goghs: Masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum". This suite of music, called Pictures at a Van Gogh Exhibition, was produced with the cooperation of the Van Gogh Museum. I've had the privilege of hearing this CD and it really is excellent--not only in terms of Mr. Worms' performance (which is first rate), but also because of the careful consideration that went into choosing each piece of music. A great deal of research and thought was put into the preparation of this CD and this is clearly evident in the insightful and intelligent notes which detail the reasoning behind each piece and how it's relevant to Van Gogh's life and works. Highly recommended.
- Lust for Life Suite: Composer Miklos Rozsa conducts the Frankenland State Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the soundtrack music from the famed Vincente Minnelli film starring Kirk Douglas. The music is enjoyable--very sweeping and melodic--but the overall flavour reminds me far more of Hollywood in the 1950s than Arles in the 1880s. Still, it's an enjoyable soundtrack (and it also comes with additional tracks to Rosza's "Background to Violence" suite).
- As the author of the Vincent van Gogh: The Complete Works CD-ROM, it's challenging to list the attributes of this resource without "blowing my own horn". All the same . . . . . This CD-ROM, compiled over the course of six years, is the most comprehensive Van Gogh CD-ROM ever published. Included are high quality images of Van Gogh's complete works (2,200 artworks comprising paintings, drawings, watercolours and letter sketches). Full exhibition and provenance information is available along with comprehensive details about each work. An easy to use, but powerful search and query feature allows the user to explore Van Gogh's works in ways never before possible. This CD-ROM, available in English, Dutch, Italian and Spanish, represents the next generation of catalogues raisonnÚs.
- Van Gogh: The Man, His Life, His Works (E.M.M.E. Arts and Culture Interactive): While not nearly as complete as the Complete Works CD-ROM above, this is still an enjoyable and well designed program. Hundreds of colour images, 45 minutes of vocal comments, 25 minutes of music, 3 video clips en 10,000 words of text. This CD-ROM, while quite good, tends to be a bit more style over substance, but is nevertheless worth looking into.
- Baby van Gogh (Buena Vista Home Video, 2002): Produced for pre-schoolers and part of the "Baby Einstein" series, Baby van Gogh explores various colours using bright, moving objects (tops, balloons, butterflies, etc.) accompanied by light classical music. Each segment ("Yellow," "Purple," "Orange," etc.) focuses on a colour and is cut with quick edits that will keep a child continually entertained. At the end of each segment "Vincent van Goat" reveals a masterpiece he's been working on that accentuates the specific colour (Wheat Fields with Reaper at Sunrise for yellow, Sunflowers for orange, etc.). A well done look at colours (and some Van Gogh works) for young children.
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