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, sometimes leisurely, sometimes briskly in order to come close to a picture that had attracted his attention, and at times sadly, thinking of his departed friend.
The melody and rhythm resemble Russian folk songs, and the piece has simple, strong rhythms in symmetrical metre.
Later Mussorgsky acknowledged in one of his letters, that the powerful nature of the promenade reflects his own large physique!
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