Category Archives: Pictures at an Exhibition

All Hands on Deck – including Liszt’s and Rachmaninoff’s. The Paraphrases, and Two Pieces for Piano 6 hands.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 6.50am, and time to write the final post of 2016. Thank you, dear Reader, for sharing this journey through Mussorgsky’s Pictures and other Russian musical curiosities with me. The penultimate work in this series of blogposts … Continue reading

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A Show of Hands – Rachmaninoff – for Four Hands

Following on from Scriabin’s pieces for left hand alone, let’s look now at his friend Rachmaninoff’s works for four hands at one piano, and for four hands at two pianos. The Six Morceaux Op 11, for piano duet, were written … Continue reading

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Give us a Hand

It has been a pleasure this year to perform in concerts which have included not only solo works for two hands, but works for one hand – and to be joined by pianist friends in works for four hands, five, six and … Continue reading

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Exit – via The Great Gate of Kiev

 We’ve come to the end of the Exhibition, and Mussorgsky has saved the grandest musical picture to the last. It’s usually known as The Great Gate of Kiev, but the original title was The Bohatyr-Gate of Kiev; all who viewed this … Continue reading

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The Hut on Fowl’s Legs. Baba Yaga – the Russian witch

Just as Red Riding Hood has a wolf, Narnia has the White Witch, Harry Potter has Voldemort  and everywhere has a bogeyman, fairy tales and children’s stories the world over have a villain, and Russian folktales are no exception. In Russian … Continue reading

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Promenade. Overground and Underground in France: The Market at Limoges; Catacombae, Sepulchrum Romanum

Mussorgsky promenades again, this time in a grand repetition of the very first Promenade at the beginning of the work, with a few subtle alterations and even more breadth. He is reasserting his own presence, and reminding us both of … Continue reading

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Two Paintings – one Picture. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle

Again we are privileged to be able to view the two paintings which inspired the next piece in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  They belonged to Mussorgsky; Hartmann himself had presented them to him, and Mussorgsky lent them to the exhibition. … Continue reading

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