Nature at Night

by Tom Gibson

Like my colleague, I respond to the beauty of Manet’s and Monet’s gardens, but perhaps a little less enthusiastically. I like my Nature more “tooth and claw.”  I was fascinated this summer, for example, when I saw a wasp stumbling across the ground of my garden carrying paralyzed prey on its back and looking for its burial hole (and egg-laying site). Something like this…

Digger Wasp

So it should come as no surprise that my favorite artistic renditions of nature lean more to Bartok.  He was enthralled by the sounds of “Nature at Night” and kept returning to that theme again and again.

Here’s a typical movement from a Bartok piano piece entitled “Out of Doors.”  Go to minute 6:38:


Here’s an even more ominous version of Nature at Night , the Bartok #5 string quartet played by the Takacs Quartet.  Go to minute 9:13: