Pictures at an Exhibition Mvt 5: Goldenburg and Schmuyle

By: Modest Mussorgsky arr. Peter Foster
For: Quartet of Clarinets in Bb
page one of Pictures at an Exhibition Mvt 5: Goldenburg and Schmuyle

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Modest Mussorgsky arr. Peter Foster
Difficult (Grades 7+)
2 minutes
Classical music
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Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite of 12 pieces for piano, composed in 1874 by Mussorgsky as a musical commentary on a posthumous exhibition of paintings and designs by his friend, the architect Viktor Hartmann. Several of the original paintings still exist, and can be found easily on the internet. Mussorgsky’s music has been transcribed for orchestra by several composers, most notably Ravel. This arrangement for clarinet quartet of a selection of the pictures seeks to maintain variety of tone colour by using differently-sized members of the clarinet family in each movement. The standard line-up of the quartet is for two Bb clarinets, Eb alto and Bb bass, but the Eb sopranino and the Eb contra-alto instruments make appearances, and one movement is for sopranino clarinet in D, with three A clarinets (although this could be performed on Eb and three Bb instruments, if a D clarinet is not available).

Goldenburg and Schmuyle are two old, apparently Jewish men, evidently at different ends of the economic spectrum. Mussorgsky’s music emphasises the contrast between the two.

For Eb, Bb, Eb alto and Bb bass clarinets. Ossia parts available for clarinet 1 in Bb (in lieu of Eb) and clarinet 3 in Bb (in lieu of alto).

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