Balet Art on Music

In addition to my father-in-law’s love of art, he was also a music lover. A reasonably accomplished accordionist, he played every day and often spoke of going to musical performances throughout his life. But aside from the rare self-portraits with his accordion, and a few musicians who found their way into his watercolors and paintings, his love of art and music didn’t often collide.

However, a recent look back at some of his lesser-visited work revealed some record album covers that I had not thought about in a while. The first was the joyous cover for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”, with vocals by none other than Julie Andrews. His capture of the triumph of the girl and her prince (with a little help from a wispy fairy godmother), and despite the wicked intent of the stepmother and her brood, is all there in the foreground of this charming 1959 work.

Another favorite was the earlier 1940 Columbia Masterworks album of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf (Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra). Small Peter, reminiscent of Balet’s young boy from Amos and the Moon and Jan’s children’s book illustration style, braves the forest with the “orchestra” of animals famously portrayed through the instruments of the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Eugene Ormandy.

All in all, Jan’s work graced the covers of seven record albums and earned him a spot in the world of music that he so enjoyed.

Wishing you a Happy 2017,