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maecenas music - wind bands and ensembles

Pictures at an ExhibitionA Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann

Mussorgsky, Modest transcribed for Wind Orchestra by Malcolm Binney

Mussorgsky composed his epic piano work Pictures at an Exhibition after a feverish bout of creativity in June 1874. It was written as a memorial to his close friend the artist and architect Viktor Hartmann who died prematurely in the August of 1873 aged only 39. Early in 1874, Mussorgsky visited a retrospective exhibition of Hartmann's sketches, stage designs and architectural studies. He was deeply moved and quickly reacted with the inspired idea of writing a suite of piano pieces describing ten of the canvases interspersed with a promenade portraying the composer himself strolling through the exhibition. The result was a series of brilliant, programmatic miniatures connected by a poetic interlude (heavily reminiscent of Russian folk song) which develops into a magical presence of its own and finally a mammoth edifice of ceremonial grandeur in the last movement of the work.

It is no surprise that these stunning musical images have intrigued and stimulated many eminent composers and conductors to orchestrate and present Mussorgsky's work through the multi-faceted pallet of the orchestra and wind orchestra. Amongst the most famous are versions by Maurice Ravel, Sir Henry Wood, Leopold Stokowski and Vladimir Ashkenazy.......and still they come, versions for brass ensemble and brass band, rock band and even acoustic guitar!  

The current transcription was completed in 2017 and first performed by the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines (Royal Band) Portsmouth, UK.

Grade AB 8  US 5

Duration c: 38 minutes


Set and score

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Pictures at an Exhibition

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