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Pictures at an Exhibition for Symphonic Brass

Composer
Modest Mussorgsky
Arranger
Lyricist
none
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
32 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Concert band / wind band
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This is a complete orchestration of Mussorgsky's famous piano suite 'Pictures at an Exhibition', scored for sixteen-part brass and percussion section. A piccolo and e-flat trumpet are required, as well as two percussionists.

The premise for this piece is an exhibition of watercolour paintings by Mussorgsky's friend V. Hartmann. The sixteen movements of this piece are divided into five promenades, which describe the composer walking between the pictures, and eleven 'pictures' which feature a great variety of colour, meter and style.

I have taken as my starting point the piano version of the suite, and was inevitably influenced by the other orchestrations with which I am familiar - Ravel's reworking for full orchestra, and another symphonic brass arrangement by Elgar Howarth.

Each section of the ensemble receives a thorough workout, and this arrangement is not for the faint-hearted! The promenades are divided between the instruments and the trumpeters have the lion's share of melodic material throughout the piece.

I welcome comments and suggestions on this piece, which is my first arrangement for 16-part brass.

Please contact me for parts and performance information.

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