Programme Index

Discover 10,099,396 listings and 232,775 playable programmes from the BBC

This listing contains language that some may find offensive.

(Section B)
IN 1873, Victor Hartmann , a well-known architect and painter, member of Balakirev'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 Godounov did. Ideas, melodies, come to me of their own accord ... I 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.
The work opens with Promenade, which is an impressive theme in alternating rhythms of 5-4 and 6-4 which aptly suggests ambulation. This Promenade theme is again heard with slightly different treatment after the first Picture (Gnome), and after the fourth (Bydlo).


Arthur Catterall
Conducted By:
Julian Clifford
Victor Hartmann
Boris Godounov

National Programme Daventry

About National Programme

National Programme is a radio channel that started transmitting on the 9th March 1930 and ended on the 9th September 1939. It was replaced by BBC Home Service.

Appears in

About this data

This data is drawn from the Radio Times magazine between 1923 and 2009. It shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was subject to change and may not be accurate. More