A tale of two composers
In 1874, Modest Mussorgsky saw an exhibition of pictures by his friend Victor Hartmann in St Petersburg. These phantasmagorical images combined objects and animals with visual poetry and architectural precision. They proved perfect for firing Mussorgsky’s imagination, and he immediately set about writing his monumental piano work Pictures at an Exhibition.
It was nearly fifty years later, in 1922, that Maurice Ravel encountered Mussorgsky’s piano work in Paris. Ravel resolved to re-imagine Mussorgsky’s Pictures in orchestral clothing, colouring their fantasies, enhancing their imagery and bolstering their shattering climaxes in the process.
Principal Guest Conductor Sir Mark Elder returns for this performance of Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s work, which he will introduce in detail from the podium.