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Gnomus (Pictures at an Exhibition | Mussorgsky arr. Gary Kettel


Innovative new arrangement of a classic from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for 5 percussionists plus timpani

Players: 6
Duration: 3′ 15″
Difficulty: Challenging
Audio Sample: Not yet available
Sample Score: Score




An innovative new arrangement of a classic piece for Percussion ensemble.
Mussorgsky was good friends with the painter Vladimir Hartmann. Who tragically died at the peak of his career, aged just thirty-nine. The loss of not just a close friend but an artistic inspiration had a deep effect on Mussorgsky. By way of a tribute to Hartmann, he composed a set of piano pieces: Pictures at an Exhibition, inspired by an exhibition of the artist’s work, which Mussorgsky had visited after his friend’s death.
The suite consists of musical depictions of 10 of Hartmann’s paintings, interspersed with a recurring ‘Promenade’ theme, or intermezzo that represents a visitor—in this case, the composer himself—strolling through the exhibition. Mussorgsky acknowledged in one of his letters, that the powerful nature of the intermezzi reflect his own large physique!
‘Gnomus’ or ‘The Gnome,’ is a depiction of an awkward little gnome, clumsily running on crooked legs, lurching about, frequently stopping and starting, all conveyed through irregular rhythms and forceful outbursts, accentuated by tempos alternating between “Vivo” and “Meno mosso, pesante”


Percussion 1: Tubular Bells, Tom-toms, China Cymbal
Percussion 2: Xylophone, Tam-tam
Percussion 3: Vibraphone, Marimba
Percussion 4: Marimba
Percussion 5: Glockenspiel, Tam-tam, Bass Drum

ISMN: 979-0-708127-28-4

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