Pictures at an Exhibition Mvt 9: Baba Yaga
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).
Baba Yaga is the mythical witch of Russian children’s nightmares, who lives in a hut with legs like a chicken, on which it chases after children who stray into her part of the forest. Hartmann’s depiction of Baba Yaga took the form of a design for a clock, in the shape of the hut on fowl’s legs.
For Eb, Bb, Eb alto and Bb bass. An ossia part is available for Clarinet 1 in Bb (in lieu of Eb clarinet). The score of this arrangement is offered free of charge; the intention thereby is to enable quartets to print out an 'approval' copy and decide whether they like it. If you like the arrangement and wish to perform it, please could you then purchase a set of parts.
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