Podcast: Pictures at an Exhibition

MUSSORGSKY, M.: Pictures at an Exhibition album coverNashville Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin has just released a new recording of Pictures at an Exhibition with each movement transcribed for orchestra by a different arranger.

Some of the arrangers, like Vladimir Askhenazy and Leopold Stokowski are well known, others are not.

But all have been moved by Mussorgsky’s music, and all have created brilliant arrangements.

Album details…
Catalogue No.: Naxos 8.570716



  • SRH says:

    Absolutely brilliant. It's wonderful to hear such a familiar work in a new light, in both orchestration – and in the case of podcast host Raymond Bisha – narration as well.

  • Alex Turner says:

    The link goes to a page that tells me it's not available? When will it be released?

    • vinko says:

      Hi Alex,

      My apologies, the hyperlink you're referring to had a typo. It is now fixed. The album in question is indeed available already.

      Thank you for your continue support of Naxos.

  • Aggelos says:

    Very nice!

    Please allow me to introduce to you Leonidas Leonardi!
    Leonidas Leonardi was a pupil of Maurice Ravel. A new version of “Pictures” was commissioned by the publishers of Mussorgsky's piano original (W. Bessel & Co., Paris) since they were quite taken aback by the enormous success of the Maurice Ravel version following its premiere in 1922 under Sergei Koussevitzky's direction. They had assumed that Koussevitzky's commission would not be a success so they asked an orchestration pupil of Ravel himself, Leonidas Leonardi to provide them with an orchestral version of their own which would out-do Ravel's. Leonardi duly obliged, dedicated his arrangement to Stravinsky, and conducted the premiere himself with the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris on 15 June 1924. The US Premiere took place when the New York Symphony Orchestra played it on 4 December 1924 under the baton of Walter Damrosch.
    Leonardi’s orchestration requires massive symphonic forces: 2 flutes & 1 piccolo, 2 oboes & 1 cor anglais, 2 clarinets & 1 bassclarinet, 2 bassoons & 1 contra-bassoon, 1 soprano saxophone, 2 alto saxophones, 3 tenor saxophones — 8 horns, 4 trumpets & 2 cornets, 3 trombones, 2 bass tubas — 2 harps, piano, glockenspiel, celeste, bells, clashed cymbals, suspended cymbals, snare-drum, triangle, tam-tam, bass drum, timpani and strings.

    Conductor Leonard Slatkin used in his first compilation (of “Pictures at an Exhibition”) an excerpt of Leonidas Leonardi’s orchestration (Promenade III & Tuileres). Nevertheless, Leonard Slatkin has never recorded commercially his 1st compilation.

    Aside from that, Leonidas Leonardi has the following orchestrations :
    -Dietrich Buxtehude / Leonidas Leonardi : Prelude BuxWV 142 In E minor
    -Scheidt Samuel / Leonidas Leonardi : Cantiones sacrae, Vater unser im Himmelreich
    -Rachmaninoff / Leonidas Leonardi: Chanson Georgienne, Op.4 No.4 [Breitkopf & Haertel, c1923]
    -Rachmaninoff / Leonidas Leonardi : “Christ is Risen”, Op. 26 No. 6 [Breitkopf & Haertel, c1923]
    -Rachmaninoff / Leonidas Leonardi : “I Fell in Love, To My Sorrow”, Op.8 No. 4 [Breitkopf & Haertel, c1923]
    -Rachmaninoff / Leonidas Leonardi : “Small Island”, Op. 14, No. 2 [Breitkopf & Haertel, c1923]
    -Rachmaninoff / Leonidas Leonardi : “How Pained I am”, Op.21 No. 12 [Breitkopf & Haertel, c1923]

  • Aggelos says:

    I am rooting for Leonidas Leonardi!

    Let's hope that someday someone will record Leonidas Leonardi orchestrations!