Modest Mussorgsky-Ravel

Pictures at an Exhibition

            A staple of piano recitals given by virtuosi, this work is probably more familiar to many in its orchestration by Ravel.  Unquestionably, a tour de force for the solo pianist, it is equally a sound spectacular for the modern orchestra.  It lends itself admirably to reinterpretation in the orchestral idiom for the simple reason that few works in the repertoire consist of such deliberate and vivid depictions of a variety of colorful images from the physical realm.  It was composed by Mussorgsky in 1874 during three weeks in June as a tribute to the distinguished Russian architect and artist, Viktor Hartmann, who had unexpectedly died of an aneurysm the age of only 39.  Hartmann, a Volga German, was one of the champions of a new resurgence of indigenous Russian art, al