Prodigious Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi tackles one of the masterworks of the solo piano repertoire: Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Pictures at an Exhibition was composed as a tribute to one of Mussorgsky’s close friends, the painter Victor Hartmann, in the wake of his tragic and untimely death. Musical interpretations of the paintings at an exhibition held in Hartmann’s memory are interspersed by five Promenades, in which Mussorgsky portrays himself moving from picture to picture. The narrative of the work encompasses richly vivid, imaginative and varied musical depictions of the paintings, from ‘Tuileries’ – in which we hear children chattering and fighting in a Parisian garden – to a depiction of a crude Polish farm wagon (‘Bydlo’) to the quicksilver ‘Ballet of the Chicks in their Shells’.
Pictures at an Exhibition is accompanied on this album by the surprising, delightful and innocent Album for the Young by Tchaikovsky.