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RNCM - Royal Northern College of Music
124 Oxford Road, M13 9RD Manchester, United Kingdom
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky The Seasons Op 37a
Modest Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition
The Belfast Telegraph described Barry Douglas’ playing as ‘an enthralling mix of chiselled brilliance and melting lyricism’. Tonight, he contributes to our French Connections narrative with a programme that opens with Tchaikovsky’s twelve short pieces that characterise the months of the year (complete with French ‘subtitles’). The evening continues with Mussorgsky’s tribute to his close friend, the artist Victor Hartmann. This series of ten programmatic miniatures, inspired by Hartmann’s paintings, is superbly atmospheric and depicts a wide range of moods, from the playfulness of Les Tuileries to the sinister melancholy of Gnomus. Unsurprisingly, the pictorial quality of the pieces drew the attention of other composers and arrangers. Of the many subsequent orchestrations, the most successful is that produced by Ravel in 1922.