Exploring music and art in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition
Belfast-born pianist Barry Douglas shot to international fame when he won the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. He is now regarded as one of the most in-demand pianists with international orchestras. Since his first appearance in Drogheda with the orchestra in 2014, Barry has built up a relationship with Drogheda Classical Music and is delighted to return for a solo piano recital. Playing Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which was inspired by his visit to an exhibition by the Russian artist Viktor Hartmann. It is therefore fitting that this recital takes place in the beautiful setting of Highlanes Gallery.
Pictures at an Exhibition, a musical work in 10 movements by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky that was inspired by a visit to an art exhibition. Each of the movements represents one of the drawings or artworks on display. Although originally composed in 1874 for solo piano, Pictures became better known in orchestral form, particularly as arranged by French composer Maurice Ravelin 1922. Mussorgsky composed Pictures as a memorial to his friend, the Russian artist Viktor Hartmann, who had died in 1873 at age 39. Shortly after the artist’s death, Mussorgsky visited a retrospective exhibit of Hartmann’s sketches, stage designs, and architectural studies and felt the need to capture the experience in music. By early summer 1874, he had completed the work, a lengthy and fiendishly difficult suite for solo piano. At the time of Mussorgsky’s death in 1881 from alcoholism, the piece had been neither performed nor published. It fell to his friend and colleague Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov to tidy up the manuscript and bring it to print in 1886.
Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow.
As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.
…an enthralling mix of chiselled brilliance and melting lyricism.