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Conducted by LESLIE HEWARD
A Mussorgsky Programme In 1873, Victor Hartmann, a well-known architect and painter, member of Balikirev's circle, and close friend of Stassov, the critic, and Mussorgsky, died at the early age of thirty-nine. Mussorgsky was deeply upset and in the following year when Stassov arranged an exhibition of Hartmann's water colours and drawings, he was moved to compose a cycle of ten piano pieces based on various subjects from Hartmann's pictures. These he entitled ' Pictures from an Exhibition '. , Mussorgsky appears to have been highly stimulated with the idea, for in a letter to Stassov, to whom the work is dedicated, he says : ' Hartmann is bubbling over, just as Boris Godonov did. Ideas, melodies, come to me of their own accordI can hardly manage to put it all down on paper fast enough '. One of these ideas was an introduction under the title of Promenade, which represents the spectator walking through the exhibition, and as he moves on from one picture to another a modified version of it reappears. Mussorgsky was particularly pleased with these ' promenades ' and asserted that his ' own physiognomy peeps out all through ' them. It is indeed curious that ' Pictures from an Exhibition ' was not conceived as an orchestral work by the composer, since the music and most of the programmatic subjects demand orchestral treatment to do them justice. Nevertheless, it is not until one has compared the original piano solo with Ravel's orchestral version, made at the request of Koussevitsky in 1922, that one realises the great understanding and imagination that went to the making of the latter. In some of the numbers Ravel uses the full resources of the modern orchestra, in others a mere handful of instruments with which he secures the most masterly and striking effect.


Unknown: Laurance Turner
Conducted By: Leslie Heward

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National Programme Daventry, 1 March 1935 22.20

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