Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pictures at an Exhibition - Naxos podcast review

Mussorgky's Pictures at an exhibition is a famous piece of music almost everybody knows or at least recognizes upon hearing (wiki). Naxos Classical Music Spotlight Podcast relates the background of the piece, which turns out to be quite a fascinating and unexpected history.

Host Raymond Bisha reveals that the piece was originally written for piano and when it was finally published, it came out filled with errors. As a consequence the piece needs arrangement and leaves much room to performers for interpretation. Naxos has released a CD with one such interpretation, but there are many more with the pop version by Emerson, Lake and Palmer probably as the most famous one. (At least that is an old childhood favorite of mine!) Within that the passage from picture to picture is the part that is most easily recognized. (click player above. (Podsafe music from the Skidmore College Orchestra)

The piece was written with actual pictures in mind,. Bisha discusses several of them. This is a very entertaining and informative podcast and gives much desire to hear more.

Previously about the Naxos podcast:
Hildegard von Bingen.

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