Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (Piano)

Modest Petrovich Mussorsky was a Russian composer in the 19th century.

It was probably in 1870 that Mussorgsky met artist and architect Victor Hartmann. Both men were devoted to the cause of an intrinsically Russian art and quickly became friends. Their meeting was likely arranged by the influential critic Vladimir Stasov who followed both of their careers with interest.

Hartmann died from ananeurysm in 1873. The sudden loss of the artist, aged only 39, shook Mussorgsky along with others in Russia's art world. Stasov helped organize an exhibition of over 400 Hartmann works in the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersberg in February and March 1874. Mussorgsky lent works from his personal collection to the exhibit and viewed the show in person. Fired by the experience, he composed Pictures at an Exhibition in six weeks. The music depicts an imaginary tour of an art collection. (courtesy of wikipedia)

You will notice a reoccurring piece "the Promenade" - this is Mussorgsky walking from picture to the next. It is one of my favorite compositions and though I have posted it previously done by orchestra. I prefer piano.

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