23 May
Thu / 2019

Inside the MFAH
Natural Melodies: Music for Touring Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens

The hustle and bustle of city life fade away as visitors wander the 14 acres of lush woodlands at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the MFAH house museum for American decorative arts and paintings.

Bayou Bend founder Ima Hogg cultivated lifelong passions for gardens, art, and classical music, so what better pairing for a visit than musical accompaniment?

A Cultural Collaboration
With inspiration from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Bayou Bend now offers an audio tour that pairs 10 areas of the gardens with thoughtfully chosen pieces of classical music. A unique experience awaits: Hear carefully curated selections of music while you stroll the grounds.

A Beautiful Beginning
The musical accompaniment begins at Clio, a statue of the Greek muse of history commissioned from Italian sculptor Antonio Frilli. Situated in the center of a highly ornamental, circular garden, Clio pairs with Gnossienne no. 5 from French composer Erik Satie. The effervescence of this selection complements the airy, yet elegant beauty of the Clio Garden.

Unique Musical Moments
With a walk by Bayou Bend’s iconic fountain and statue of Diana, the Roman goddess of wild animals and the hunt, the tour brings Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, a turn toward the Neoclassical. Next, the short piano solo “Pagodes” from Claude Debussy’s Estampes accompanies the expansive and wooded Euterpe Garden, highlighting the mysterious quality of the looming sycamore trees.

The 45-minute audio tour also includes works by Chopin, Elgar, and Haydn, all performed by the faculty and students of the Shepherd School of Music. 

 Plan your visit! Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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