About

This website is for the film A Dionysia, created by Timothy J. Armstrong and released in 2015 on YouTube:

A Dionysia playlist

(The image links to a playlist on YouTube.)

The film is a sequence of classical music videos showing literature and paintings on the screen:

Part 1:
Franz Liszt’s Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Duino Elegies, and Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion’s Song of Fate

Part 2:
Johannes Brahms’ Schicksalslied: Adagio
A hymn to Selene from The Homeric Hymns

Part 3:
Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits
A hymn to Dionysus from Euripedes’ The Bacchae

Part 4:
Leo Brouwer’s Guitar Sonata: La Toccata de Pasquini
A hymn to Pan from The Homeric Hymns

Part 5:
Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne No. 7
Hymns to Athena and Artemis from The Homeric Hymns

Part 6:
Jacques Ibert’s Flute Concerto: Andante
Friedrich Hölderlin’s Bread and Wine

Part 7a:
Hildegard von Bingen’s Instrumental Piece
Ivan Chtcheglov’s Formulary for a New Urbanism

Part 7b:
Henryk Górecki’s String Quartet No. 3: Largo, Cantabile
Isaiah from the King James Bible, and Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach


You can see the paintings used in the film, which include:

painting by Edvard Munch: The Sun (1911 - 1916)
Edvard Munch. The Sun. 1911 – 1916.

painting by Claude Monet: House of Parliament Sun (1903)
Claude Monet. House of Parliament Sun. 1903.

painting by Franz Marc: The Fox (1913)
Franz Marc. The Fox. 1913.


The film is named after the Ancient Greek festival to worship Dionysus. Part 3, a portrait of happiness, uses a hymn to Dionysus from Euripedes’ The Bacchae, including the passage:

Among the joyful cries he makes these
words roar out:
“O onward bacchants,
onward bacchants!
Ornamented with gold of Tmolus’ river
to the deep beat of the drums
sing and dance to Dionysus
exalting the god to whom you cry in ecstasy
amid Phrygian cries and incantations
when the holy melodious flute
sounds out its holy uplifting strains,
accompanying
you on your way to the mountain, the
mountain.” Joyfully
then, as a foal with its grazing mother,
the bacchant springs around with nimble feet.

Bacchae of Euripides
G. S. Kirk
Hardback ISBN 9780521226752
Paperback ISBN 9780521296137
Copyright © 1979 Cambridge University Press


I was undecided about the order of the last two videos (7a and 7b), so I intend for the film to have alternative endings depending on the viewer’s preference. You can watch the videos in any order in general, and you can make your own YouTube playlist with a different order. You would probably want to take breaks between watching videos rather than watch them all at once.

I did not create any of the music, literature, or paintings in the film, but rather assembled the videos from art other people made. Some of the artworks are public domain, and others I am using with permission. Due to copyrights on the music, some of the videos may not be available in some countries or on some devices, but they should usually be available.