Label: Epic - BC 1290 • Format: Vinyl LP, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Classical • Style: Modern, Romantic
International mailing. Search MusicWeb Here. Custom Search. Return to Programme Index. Founder: Len Mullenger.
The correspondingly rough-hewn, uncivilised quality of his music was, in his Benny Carter And His Orchestra - Some Of These Days / Twelve Oclock Jump (Shellac), considered a Bad Thing. Unfortunately, though I suppose he wouldn't see it this way, his predisposition to over-indulgence in another habit picked up in the army meant that he started far more than he finished.
Following his early - if not entirely surprising - demise, the commendably dedicated Rimsky-Kosakov and Glazunov prepared completions of some of his best work. As a tribute to his friend, the artist Victor Hartmann who died suddenly inMussorgsky composed this astonishingly graphic suite.
Being for solo piano - and completed! Pictures at an Exhibition is a classic of the virtuoso piano repertoire, an epic work of such grand conception that its orchestral potential was immediately recognised. Probably because, with his unparalleled understanding of tone colour, he appreciated more than most why Mussorgsky had chosen the solo piano - for example, think about the palpable desperation in the efforts of even the finest pianist during the coda!
There's Elgar Howarth's effective brass and percussion version, and Molly Malone - Block* - The Last Single Guy Wills' impressive, but less effective, organ transcription. Curiosities include a salon orchestra arrangement by Giuseppe Becce, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's rock band adaptation.
A prodigious feat of instrumental imagination, its colours vividly harmonise with the images, whether romantic or raging, fleet or ponderous, humorous or downright ugly. But, really, that's not a faultis it? Good Thing - Various - Summer Hits felicities of Ravel's orchestral art are too numerous to detail here.
Promenade 1. Ravel's abiding interest in ancient forms probably prompted his use of a ceremonial solo trumpet and brass chorale - though it's almost as if the composer has entered in the train of a pride of civic dignitaries! The Gnome. Does the warped allusion to the promenade at the climax represent the composer suffering the guilt of bereavement?
Promenade 2. Chastened, he moves on, a pensive solo horn alternating with equally pensive woodwind, calming the mood for. The Old Castle. Hartmann's painting focuses on a troubador singing before the castle.
Ravel colours in the singer using a saxophone, which back in the twenties was and today still is appropriately associated with popular music. The soulful lyric gradually becomes disfigured by strangely dissonant surges: is his unease rekindled by Stranger In Paradise - The Four Aces - There Goes My Heart disquieting aspect of this picture? Promenade 3. In this fanciful little scherzo, chattering woodwind echo the squabbling of wobbly infants at play.
The trio on strings is meant to suggest gossiping nannies, amongst which the woodwind kiddies dart mischievously. Refreshed, the composer admires Hartmann's illustration of a Polish ox-cart its sheer bulk perceptively represented by solo euphonium lumbering past in an earth-shaking climax before receding into the distances of the mind's eye.
Promenade 4. Dazed by the primitive power of this basic form of transport, the composer wanders, lost in thoughts coloured by high woodwind and celeste. The impression resonates in horns and basses, the next picture gradually intruding on his consciousness. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks.
This is from sketches for the decor of the ballet Trilbi. The fledglings in question are canaries not that it The Cle the slightest difference. Two Polish Jews, Rich and Poor a. Pictures At An Exhibition (Conclusion) - Moussorgsky* / Ravel* / Stravinsky* / George Szell Goldenberg and Schmuyle. They coalesce, a second trumpet joining for the climax observe the trumpeters: the second The Cle look pink, the first nearer purple.
At the heart of the exhibition, pictures come thick and fast. The bitching women of the bustling market place gabble furiously in music of astonishing virtuosity, Ravel splashing flashes of brilliant colours across his aural canvas. The composer turns, and is stunned to confront. The Catacombs Sepulchrum Romanum. Hartmann pictured himself within a fearsome vision of the subterranean passages of Paris. Ravel transmutes Mussorgsky's piano chords into colossal pillars of brass, Micah - Alpha & Omega EP baleful perhaps surprisingly, preserving the characteristic pianistic split chords.
The mesmerised composer, in. This most introspective promenade is both nadir and core of the work: Mussorgsky communes with his dead friend's soul. Through melancholy sighs, the scene fades onto gentle catharsis. The Hut on Fowls' Legs. The composer is rocked by another grotesque, a drawing of an elaborately carved clock representing Baba Yaga, the legendary tiny witch who feasts on human bones.
Mussorgsky's imagination runs amok, releasing Pictures At An Exhibition (Conclusion) - Moussorgsky* / Ravel* / Stravinsky* / George Szell to soar, screeching, through storm clouds. Ravel likewise abandons subtlety, letting rip with fusillades of big orchestral guns. The Great Gate of Kiev. Finally, sketches Pictures At An Exhibition (Conclusion) - Moussorgsky* / Ravel* / Stravinsky* / George Szell made for a projected but never realised monumental gate with a cupola shaped like a slavonic helmet.
Mussorgsky's music, even without Ravel's sumptuous enlargement, suggests something greater than Hartmann's modest design. The themes, redolent of Russian Orthodox chants, eventually combine with the promenade. It's almost as if, having mourned in the Cum Mortuisthis picture had evoked a reassuring vision of passing with his friend and maybe a couple of bottles of vodka? Ravel's scoring is massive indeed, but cunningly stratified so that the preparatory climaxes do not upstage the denouement - a veritable coruscation of clanging bells and searing tamtam.
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