Rorems’s Bitchy Picnic on the Marne

Rorems’s Bitchy Picnic on the Marne

Ned Rorem’s bitchy recollection of a “collapsed romance” inspired Picnic on the Marne: Seven Waltzes (1984). The romance with Claude Benedick was hot in the 1950s but by 1967 all that was left was rancor. The New York Diary (1967) spews his anger: “Sweet memories will...
Bowles & Schuyler’s Delightfully Silly Picnic Cantata

Bowles & Schuyler’s Delightfully Silly Picnic Cantata

Paul Bowles and James Schuyler’s performance piece A Picnic Cantata: for Four Women’s Voices, Two pianos, and Percussion (1954) is delightfully silly. It is a picnic that is happy and makes no sense. The music by Paul Bowles’ and the libretto by James Schuyler...
Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Singin’ in the Rain

Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Singin’ in the Rain

Walt Disney’s seven-minute cartoon The Picnic (1930) packs as many picnic conventions as possible. There’s a motorcar drive to the country, a stream, shady tree, a wicker basket, a gingham cloth jammed with a gourmand feast of sandwiches, Swiss cheese, mustard,...