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Building the Great Cathedrals: Notre Dame de Chartres and Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia -- John Frey

December 3, 2019

 

 

Thursdays, Jan. 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13 1:00pm - 4:00pm 

Odd Fellows Hall,  SLO

Four Sessions

$16 for LLCC members, $40 for non-members.

Register Now for this course on Brown Paper Tickets

 

Your favorite cathedral expert John Frey will be leading this course that will concentrate your mind on two great cathedrals.

 

The course uses DVDs  and a 37-page syllabus including biographies. production sources and history, commentary, analysis and synopses.  You will have a chance for a group discussion following your viewing of John's curated DVDs.

 

Cathedrals and great  churches display a high level of architectural style and craftsmanship and occupy a status both ecclesiastical and social among the world's most renowned sacred buildings. In this course you will come to understand (1) how these buildings are built and (2) their religious function. You will examine through documentary films the medieval Cathédrale Notre Dame de Chartres in contrast to Barcelona’s modern Sagrada Familia which was started 138 years ago and is still under construction.

 

 

These are the documentary films that you will see:

 

               Cathedral: The great European cathedrals of the Middle Ages are among the finest architectural achievements of all time. Built of stone and glass, they soared to unprecedented heights as the medieval church reached to the heavens to express its devotion. David Macauley hosts an hour of spectacular location sequences and animation celebrating France’s most famous cathedrals. He travels back in time to 1214 to explore the design of Notre Dame de Beaulieu, a fictional but representative Gothic cathedral. The film shows the vaulted arches, elaborate stained glass windows and dizzying vaulted ceilings. More than an informative narrative on construction, Cathedral tells tales from the period, revealing fascinating story of life and death, faith and despair, prosperity and intrigue.

 

               Building the Great Cathedrals: Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Amiens, Beauvais, and Notre Dame of Paris. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues. This film investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward. The film focuses on the essential structural components of Gothic architecture, and keeps the narrative simple by focusing on the three most significant structural methods at use in the Gothic enterprise - pointed arches, flying buttresses, and ribbed vaulting.

 

               Chartres Cathedral - A Sacred Geometry: This extraordinary documentary film explores one of the most beautiful and mysterious cathedrals in the world, the famous Chartres Cathedral. It advances challenging theories and discoveries by Professor Keith Critchlow, an expert in sacred architecture who has studied the mysteries of Chartres Cathedral for over forty years. Forty-four magnificent stained-glass windows, including three rose windows, tell the story of the world from creation to the day of judgment. The 12th Century labyrinth in the nave is the largest and best preserved example of a medieval labyrinth in France.

 

               The Vitraux of ChartresCathedral: The largest collection of medieval stained glass windows in the world has been preserved in Chartres Cathedral.The interest is multiple: it is first of all art, beauty of forms, colors, drawings. It also belongs to history, because these thousands of images reveal the mirror of medieval society, its tensions, its cultural and political choices, its faith. We see the Church celebrate the liturgy, the knights fight, the craftsmen work: bakers and butchers, shoemakers, money changers - it's a whole world working on the roads, in the fields, the vineyards, the shops, the building sites, the workshops. We read evangelical stories, parables treated in the form of theological presentations, the lives of saints, apostles, confessors or martyrs, early saints or contemporary saints, ancient or unpublished stories.

 

               God’s Architect - Antoni Gaudí: In this BBC documentary art critic Robert Hughes presents the power of nature, patriotism and religion in Gaudi’s work.

 

               Sagrada - The Mystery of Creation: Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia is an astonishing architectural project first imagined by Antoni Gaudi in the late 19th C. More than 138 years after construction began, the basilica still remains unfinished. The documentary celebrates Gaudi’s unique vision and continuing work of countless laborers, artisans, designers and architects as they strive to complete the colossal project, while also delving into the mysterious process of artistic creation.                                                                                                                                              

John Frey taught chemistry and engaged in chemical research for 45 years at several universities and is now retired.  He served on the Board of Directors of Festival Mozaic from 2014-2017, OperaSLO from 1999-present, Lifelong Learners of the Central Coast from 2012-present and SLO Master Chorale. He is a member of the Rotary Club of SLO.  He teaches courses on opera and musical theater for LLCC and OperaSLO. He has 70 years of choral experience and has performed in the chorus of OperaSLO. He has a lifelong passion for opera and musical theater.

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