Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Rafael Kubelík ¦ Mussorgsky, Ravel: Pictures At An Exhibition

CHF 37.00 inkl. MwSt

LP (Album)

Nicht vorrätig

Zusätzliche Information









Veröffentlichung Mussorgsky, Ravel: Pictures At An Exhibition:


Hörbeispiel(e) Mussorgsky, Ravel: Pictures At An Exhibition:

Mussorgsky, Ravel: Pictures At An Exhibition auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Mussorgsky in 1874

Pictures at an Exhibition[a] is a suite of ten piano pieces, plus a recurring, varied Promenade theme, composed by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1874. The piece is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition, and it has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It became further widely known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other composers and musicians, with Maurice Ravel’s 1922 adaptation for full symphony orchestra being the most recorded and performed.

Composition history

Viktor Hartmann (1834–1873)

The composition is based on pictures by the artist, architect, and designer Viktor Hartmann. It was probably in 1868 that Mussorgsky first met Hartmann, not long after the latter’s return to Russia from abroad. Both men were devoted to the cause of an intrinsically Russian art and quickly became friends. They likely met in the home of the influential critic Vladimir Stasov, who followed both of their careers with interest. According to Stasov’s testimony, in 1868, Hartmann gave Mussorgsky two of the pictures that later formed the basis of Pictures at an Exhibition.[1] In 1870, Mussorgsky dedicated the second song („In the Corner“) of the cycle The Nursery to Hartmann. Stasov remarked that Hartmann loved Mussorgsky’s compositions, and particularly liked the „Scene by the Fountain“ in his opera Boris Godunov. Mussorgsky had abandoned the scene in his original 1869 version, but at the requests of Stasov and Hartmann, he reworked it for Act 3 in his revision of 1872.[2]

The years 1873–74 are associated with the staging of Boris Godunov, the zenith of Mussorgsky’s career as a composer—at least from the standpoint of public acclaim. Mussorgsky’s distant relative, friend, and roommate during this period, Arseniy Golenishchev-Kutuzov, describing the January 1874 première of the opera, remarked: „During the winter, there were, I think, nine performances, and each time the theatre was sold out, each time the public tumultuously called for Mussorgsky.“[3] The composer’s triumph was overshadowed, however, by the critical drubbing he received in the press. Other circumstances conspired to dampen Mussorgsky’s spirits. The disintegration of The Mighty Handful and their failure to understand his artistic goals contributed to the isolation he experienced as an outsider in Saint Petersburg’s musical establishment. Golenishchev-Kutuzov wrote: „[The Mighty Handful’s] banner was held by Mussorgsky alone; all the other members had left it and pursued his own path ...“[4]

Hartmann’s sudden death on 4 August 1873 from an aneurysm shook Mussorgsky along with others in Russia’s art world. The loss of the artist, aged only 39, plunged the composer into deep despair. Stasov helped to organize a memorial exhibition of over 400 Hartmann works in the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg in February and March 1874. Mussorgsky lent to the exhibition the two pictures Hartmann had given him, and viewed the show in person. Later in June, two-thirds of the way through composing his song cycle Sunless, Mussorgsky was inspired to compose Pictures at an Exhibition, quickly completing the score in three weeks (2–22 June 1874).[5] In a letter to Stasov (see photo), probably written on 12 June 1874, he describes his progress:

Mussorgsky’s letter to Stasov, written while composing Pictures

My dear généralissime, Hartmann is boiling as Boris boiled—sounds and ideas hung in the air, I am gulping and overeating, and can barely manage to scribble them on paper. I am writing the 4th No.—the transitions are good (on the ‚promenade‘). I want to work more quickly and steadily. My physiognomy can be seen in the interludes. So far I think it’s well turned ...[6]

The music depicts his tour of the exhibition, with each of the ten numbers of the suite serving as a musical illustration of an individual work by Hartmann.[7]

Five days after finishing the composition, he wrote on the title page of the manuscript a tribute to Vladimir Stasov, to whom the work is dedicated. One month later, he added an indication that he intended to have it published.[8]

Golenishchev-Kutuzov gives the following (perhaps biased)[9] account of the work’s reception among Mussorgsky’s friends and colleagues and an explanation for his failure to follow through on his plans to publish it:

Soon, with the composition of the musical illustrations for Pictures from an Exhibition by the architect Hartmann, he reached the acme of that musical radicalism, to whose ’new shores‘ and to whose ‚unfathomed depths‘ the admirers of his ‚Peepshows‘ and ‚Savishnas‘ had pushed him so diligently. In music for these illustrations, as Mussorgsky called them, he represented [chicks], children, Baba Yaga in her wooden house on chicken legs, catacombs, gates, and even rattling carts. All this was not done jokingly, but ’seriously‘.

There was no end to the enthusiasm shown by his devotees; but many of Mussorgsky’s friends, on the other hand, and especially the comrade composers, were seriously puzzled and, listening to the ’novelty,‘ shook their heads in bewilderment. Naturally, Mussorgsky noticed their bewilderment and seemed to feel that he ‚had gone too far.‘ He set the illustrations aside without even trying to publish them. Mussorgsky devoted himself exclusively to Khovanshchina.[10]

In August, Mussorgsky completed the last two songs of Sunless and then resumed work on Khovanshchina, composing the prelude to Act 1 („Dawn on the Moscow River“) in September.

Publication history

Cover of first edition

As with most of Mussorgsky’s works, Pictures at an Exhibition has a complicated publication history. Although composed very rapidly, during June 1874, the work did not appear in print until 1886, five years after the composer’s death, when an edition by the composer’s friend and colleague Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was published. This edition, however, was not a completely accurate representation of Mussorgsky’s score but presented a revised text that contained a number of errors and misreadings.

Only in 1931, marking the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death, was Pictures at an Exhibition published in a scholarly edition in agreement with his manuscript, to be included in Volume 8 of Pavel Lamm’s M. P. Mussorgsky: Complete Collected Works (1939).

In 1940, the Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola published an important critical edition of Mussorgsky’s work with extensive commentary.

Mussorgsky’s hand-written manuscript was published in facsimile in 1975.

1886Nikolay Rimsky-KorsakovV. Bessel and Co., Saint PetersburgRevised edition [1]
1931Pavel LammMuzgiz, MoscowRestoration of the composer’s score [2]
Muzïka, MoscowFacsimile of the composer’s manuscript

Hartmann’s pictures

Viktor Hartmann

Mussorgsky based his musical material on drawings and watercolours by Hartmann produced mostly during the artist’s travels abroad. Locales include Italy, France, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. Today most of the pictures from the Hartmann exhibition are lost, making it impossible to be sure in many cases which Hartmann works Mussorgsky had in mind.

Arts critic Alfred Frankenstein gave an account of Hartmann, with reproductions of his pictures, in the article „Victor Hartmann and Modeste Mussorgsky“ in The Musical Quarterly (July 1939).[11] Frankenstein claimed to have identified seven pictures by catalogue number, corresponding to:

  • „Tuileries“ (now lost)
  • „Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks“
  • „Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuÿle“ (Frankenstein suggested two separate portraits, still extant, as the basis for „Two Jews: Rich and Poor“)
  • „Catacombs“
  • „The Hut on Hen’s Legs“
  • „The Bogatyr Gates“

The surviving works that can be shown with certainty to have been used by Mussorgsky in assembling his suite, along with their titles, are as follows:[1]

MovementTitleTitle (English)Picture
5. Ballet of the Unhatched ChicksЭскизы театральных костюмов к балету „Трильби“Sketches of theatre costumes for the ballet Trilby
Hartmann Chicks sketch for Trilby ballet.jpg
6. „Samuel“ Goldenberg and „Schmuÿle“Еврей в меховой шапке. СандомирJew in a fur cap. Sandomierz
The Rich Jew.jpg
Сандомирский [еврей]Sandomierz [Jew]
The Poor Jew.jpg
8. Catacombs (Roman Tomb)Парижские катакомбы (с фигурами В. А. Гартмана, В. А. Кенеля и проводника, держащего фонарь)Paris Catacombs (with the figures of V. A. Hartmann, V. A. Kenel, and a guide holding a lantern)
Hartmann Paris Catacombs.jpg
9. The Hut on Hen’s Legs ([The Hut] of Baba Yaga)Избушка Бабы-Яги на курьих ножках. Часы в русском стилеThe hut of Baba-Yaga on hen’s legs. Clock in the Russian style
10. The Bogatyr Gates (In the Capital in Kiev)Проект городских ворот в Киеве. Главный фасадProject for city gates in Kiev. Main façade
Hartmann -- Plan for a City Gate.jpg

Note: Mussorgsky owned the two pictures that together inspired No. 6, the so-called „Two Jews“. The title of No. 6b, as provided by the Soviet editors of his letters, is Сандомирский [еврей] (Sandomirskiy [yevrey] or Sandomierz [Jew]). The bracketed word yevrey (lit. „Hebrew“) is the sanitized form of the actual word in the title, very likely the derogatory epithet жид (zhid or yid).[12]


Vladimir Stasov’s program, identified below,[13] and the six known extant pictures suggest the ten pieces that make up the suite correspond to eleven pictures by Hartmann, with „Samuel Goldenberg und Schmuÿle“ accounting for two. The five Promenades are not numbered with the ten pictures and consist in the composer’s manuscript of two titled movements and three untitled interludes appended to the first, second, and fourth pictures.[14]

Mussorgsky links the suite’s movements in a way that depicts the viewer’s own progress through the exhibition. Two Promenade movements stand as portals to the suite’s main sections. Their regular pace and irregular meter depicts the act of walking. Three untitled interludes present shorter statements of this theme, varying the mood, colour, and key in each to suggest reflection on a work just seen or anticipation of a new work glimpsed. A turn is taken in the work at the „Catacombae“ when the Promenade theme stops functioning as merely a linking device and becomes, in „Cum mortuis“, an integral element of the movement itself. The theme reaches its apotheosis in the suite’s finale, „The Bogatyr Gates“.

The first two movements of the suite—one grand, one grotesque—find mirrored counterparts, and apotheoses, at the end. The suite traces a journey that begins at an art exhibition, but the line between observer and observed vanishes at the Catacombs when the journey takes on a different character.

The table below shows the order of movements.

No.Title in scoreEnglish translationKeyMeterTempo
PromenadeB major5
, 6
Allegro giusto, nel modo russico; senza allegrezza, ma poco sostenuto
1Gnomus (Latin)The GnomeE minor3
Vivo and Meno mosso, pesante
PromenadeA major5
, 6
Moderato commodo assai e con delicatezza
2Il vecchio castello (Italian)The Old CastleG minor6
Andante molto cantabile e con dolore
PromenadeB major5
, 6
Moderato non tanto, pesamente
3Tuileries (Dispute d’enfants après jeux) (French)Tuileries (Children’s Quarrel after Games)B majorcommon timeAllegretto non troppo, capriccioso
4Bydło (Polish)CattleG minor2
Sempre moderato, pesante
PromenadeD minor5
, 6
, 7
5Балет невылупившихся птенцов (Russian)
Balet nevylupivshikhsya ptentsov (trans.)
Ballet of Unhatched ChicksF major2
6„Samuel“ Goldenberg und „Schmuÿle“ (Yiddish)„Samuel“ Goldenberg and „Schmuÿle“B minorcommon timeAndante. Grave energico and Andantino
PromenadeB major5
, 6
, 7
Allegro giusto, nel modo russico; poco sostenuto
7Limoges. Le marché (La grande nouvelle) (French)Limoges. The Market (The Great News)E majorcommon timeAllegretto vivo, sempre scherzando
8Catacombae (Sepulcrum romanum) (Latin)Catacombs (Roman Tomb)B minor3
Con mortuis in lingua mortua (Latin)With the Dead in a Dead LanguageB minor6
Andante non troppo con lamento
9Избушка на курьих ножках (Баба-Яга) (Russian)
Izbushka na kuryikh nozhkakh (Baba-Yaga) (trans.)
The Hut on Hen’s Legs (Baba Yaga)C minor2
Allegro con brio, feroce and Andante mosso
10Богатырские ворота (В стольном городе во Киеве) (Russian)
Bogatyrskiye vorota (V stolnom gorode vo Kiyeve) (trans.)
The Bogatyr Gates (In the Capital in Kiev)
(Often translated as „The Great Gate of Kiev“ or „The Heroes‘ Gate at Kiev“)
E majorcommon timeAllegro alla breve. Maestoso, con grandezza


Vladimir Stasov’s comment: In this piece Mussorgsky depicts himself „roving through the exhibition, now leisurely, now briskly in order to come close to a picture that had attracted his attention, and at times sadly, thinking of his departed friend.“

The piece has simple, strong rhythms in asymmetrical meter. The promenade theme is shown below:

{ \new PianoStaff <<
\new Staff <<
\new voice \relative c'' {
\set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \tempo 4 = 112
\clef treble \key bes \major
\time 5/4
g4--_\f^\markup { \bold {Allegro giusto, nel modo russico; senza allegrezza, ma poco sostenuto. } } f-- bes-- c8--( f d4--)
\time 6/4
c8--( f d4--) bes-- c-- g-- f--
\time 5/4
<bes, d g>4 <a c f> <bes d bes'> \stemDown <c a'> \stemNeutral <f a d>
\time 6/4
\stemDown <c a'> \stemNeutral <f bes d> <d g bes> <e g c> <g, c g'> <a c f>
\new Voice \relative c'' {
\time 5/4
s1 s4
\time 6/4
\time 5/4
s2. \stemUp c8^( f d4)
\time 6/4
\stemUp c8^( f d4) s1
\new Staff <<
\clef bass \key bes \major
\relative c {
\time 5/4
\time 6/4
\time 5/4
<g g'>4 <a f'> <g g'> <f f'> <d d'>
\time 6/4
<f f'> <bes bes'> <g g'> <c, c'> <e e'> <f f'>
>> }

1. The Gnome

Stasov’s comment: „A sketch depicting a little gnome, clumsily running with crooked legs.“

Hartmann’s sketch, now lost, is thought to represent a design for a nutcracker displaying large teeth. The lurching music, in contrasting tempos with frequent stops and starts, suggests the movements of the gnome.

{\new PianoStaff <<
\new Staff  \relative c'{\clef bass \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \time 3/4 \key ges\major \tempo "sempre vivo" 4=286 ces8\ff (es,8 d8 ces'8 bes8 d,8) ges2.\sf\fermata ~ges2~ ges8 r8 \tempo "meno vivo" 4=166 ces8\p (es,8 d8 ces'8 bes8 d,8) ges2. ~ges2. \tempo "sempre vivo"4=286 ces8\ff (es,8 eses8 ces'8 bes8 des,8) fes4\sf bes8 (ces,8 es4\sf) bes'8 (bes,8) d4\sf (bes8) r8 \clef treble <bes' bes'>4\ottava#1  <bes'' bes'>4\ottava#0 r4\fermata}\new Staff \relative c'{\clef bass \time 3/4 \key ges\major ces,8 (es,8 d8 ces'8 bes8 d,8) ges2.\fermata ~ges2~ ges8 r8 ces8 (es,8 d8 ces'8 bes8 d,8) ges2. ~ges2. ces8 (es,8 eses8 ces'8 bes8 des,8) fes4 bes8 (ces,8 es4) bes'8 (bes,8) d4 (bes8) r8 bes'4 \clef treble bes''4 r4\fermata}
>> }

Promenade (2nd)

A placid statement of the promenade melody depicts the viewer walking from one display to the next.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

2. The Old Castle

Stasov’s comment: „A medieval castle before which a troubadour sings a song.“

This movement is thought to be based on a watercolor depiction of an Italian castle and is portrayed in Ravel’s orchestration by a bassoon and alto saxophone duet. Hartmann often placed appropriate human figures in his architectural renderings to suggest scale.[15]

{\new PianoStaff <<\new Staff \relative c <<
{\clef bass \time 6/8 \key gis\minor \set Score.tempoHideNote=##t \tempo 4=66 dis2.~ dis4 dis8 dis8-. dis8-. dis8-. dis8. (e16) dis8-. fis8-. (e8-. dis8-.) cis8. (dis16) cis8-. e8-. (dis8-. cis8-.) b4 (cis8 dis8 cis8 b8) ais8. (b16) ais8-. cis8-. (b8-. ais8-.) b4. (gis4.)}
{gis2.~ gis4. gis4. gis4. gis4. gis4. gis4. gis4. ~gis4 r8 gis4. ~gis4 r8 gis4 gis8}

Promenade (3rd)

Another brief statement of the promenade melody (8 measures) gives it more extroversion and weight than before.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

3. Tuileries (Children’s Quarrel after Games)

Stasov’s comment: „An avenue in the garden of the Tuileries, with a swarm of children and nurses.“

Hartmann’s picture of the Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre in Paris (France) is now lost. Figures of children quarrelling and playing in the garden were likely added by the artist for scale (see note on No. 2 above).

The movement is cast in through-composed ternary form (ABA).

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

4. Cattle

Stasov’s comment: „A Polish cart on enormous wheels, drawn by oxen.“

The movement is cast in through-composed ternary form (ABA) with coda. Mussorgsky’s original piano version of this movement begins fortissimo (ff), suggesting that the lumbering oxcart’s journey begins in the listener’s foreground. After reaching a climax (con tutta forza), the dynamic marking is abruptly piano (bar 47), followed by a diminuendo to a final pianississimo (ppp), suggesting the oxcart receding into the distance. Rimsky-Korsakov’s edition, and arrangements based on it such as Ravel’s, begin quietly, build gradually (crescendo) to fortissimo and then undergo a diminuendo, suggesting the oxcart approaching, passing the listener, and then receding.

{\new PianoStaff <<
\new Staff  \relative c'
{\clef bass \key gis\minor \set Score.tempoHideNote=##t \time 2/4 \tempo "Sempre moderato pesante"4=46 r4 dis,4 ~(dis8 fis16 e16) dis8-- e8-- dis8-- gis8-- ais8-- b8-- ais4-- gis8-- r8 cis4-- (gis'8) r8 cis,4-- (gis'8) gis8-- dis4-- cis4-- b8 (dis8 ais8) r8 gis4 fis8 (e8 dis8) r8}\new Staff \relative c{\clef bass \time 2/4 \key gis\minor\repeat unfold 8{<gis, dis' gis>8-- <b dis b'>8}\repeat unfold 2 {<a cis a'>8 <cis e cis'>8 <e, gis e'>8 <gis b gis'>8} <fis cis' fis>8 <ais dis ais'>8 <fis ais fis'>8 <ais dis ais'>8  <gis dis' gis>8 <b dis b'>8 <fis ais fis'>8 <ais cis ais'>8
<gis b gis'>8 <b dis b'>8 <a cis a'>8 <cis e cis'>8 <gis dis' gis>8 r8}

Promenade (4th)

A reflective 10-measure presentation of the promenade theme.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

5. Ballet of Unhatched Chicks

Stasov’s comment: „Hartmann’s design for the décor of a picturesque scene in the ballet Trilby.“

Gerald Abraham provides the following details: „Trilby or The Demon of the Heath, a ballet with choreography by Petipa, music by Julius Gerber, and décor by Hartmann, based on Charles Nodier’s Trilby, or The Elf of Argyle, was produced at the Bolshoi Theatre, Saint Petersburg, in 1871. The fledglings were canary chicks.“[16]

The movement is cast in ternary form (ABA) with a literal repeat and terse extension (coda).

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

6. „Samuel“ Goldenberg and „Schmuÿle“

Stasov’s comment: „Two Jews: rich and poor“ (Russian: Два еврея: богатый и бедный)

Stasov’s explanatory title elucidates the personal names used in Mussorgsky’s original manuscript. Published versions display various combinations, such as „Two Polish Jews, Rich and Poor (Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle)“. The movement is thought to be based on two separate extant portraits.

The use of augmented second intervals approximates Jewish modes such as the Phrygian dominant scale. The movement is in ternary form A – B – A+B:

  • Andante, grave energico (Theme 1 „Samuel Goldenberg“)
  • Andantino (Theme 2 „Schmuÿle“)
  • Andante, grave energico (Themes 1 and 2 in counterpoint)
  • Coda

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

Promenade (5th)

A nearly bar-for-bar restatement of the opening promenade. Differences are slight: condensed second half, block chords voiced more fully. Structurally, the movement acts as a reprise, giving listeners another hearing of the opening material before these are developed in the second half of the suite.

Many arrangements, including Ravel’s orchestral version, omit this movement.

7. Limoges. The Market (The Great News)

Stasov’s comment: „French women quarrelling violently in the market.“

Limoges is a city in central France. Mussorgsky originally provided two paragraphs in French that described a marketplace discussion (the ‚great news‘), but subsequently crossed them out in the manuscript.

The movement is a scherzo in through-composed ternary form (ABA). A scurrying coda leads without a break into the next movement.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

8. Catacombs (Roman Tomb) – With the Dead in a Dead Language

„Catacombae“ and „Cum mortuis in lingua mortua“ from Mussorgsky’s manuscript

Stasov’s comment: „Hartmann represented himself examining the Paris catacombs by the light of a lantern.“

The movement is in two distinct parts. Its two sections consist of a nearly static Largo consisting of a sequence of block chords with elegiac lines adding a touch of melancholy and a more flowing, gloomy Andante that introduces the Promenade theme into the scene.

The first section’s alternating loud and soft chords evoke the grandeur, stillness, and echo of the catacombs. The second section suggests a merging of observer and scene as the observer descends into the catacombs. Mussorgsky’s manuscript of „Catacombs“ (shown right) displays two pencilled notes, in Russian: „NB – Latin text: With the dead in a dead language“ and, along the right margin, „Well may it be in Latin! The creative spirit of the dead Hartmann leads me towards the skulls, invokes them; the skulls begin to glow softly.“

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

9. The Hut on Fowl’s Legs (Baba Yaga)

Stasov’s comment: „Hartmann’s drawing depicted a clock in the form of Baba Yaga’s hut on fowl’s legs. Mussorgsky added the witch’s flight in a mortar.“

A scherzo marked Feroce with a slower middle section. Motives in this movement evoke the bells of a large clock and the whirlwind sounds of a chase. Structurally, the movement mirrors the grotesque qualities of „Gnomus“ on a grand scale.

The movement is cast in ternary form (ABA):

  • Allegro con brio, feroce
  • Andante mosso
  • Allegro molto (a nearly literal repeat)
  • Coda

The coda leads without a break into the final movement of the suite.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

10. The Bogatyr Gates (In the Capital in Kiev)

Stasov’s comment: „Hartmann’s sketch was his design for city gates at Kiev in the ancient Russian massive style with a cupola shaped like a slavonic helmet.“

Bogatyrs are heroes that appear in Russian epics called bylinas. Hartmann designed a monumental gate for Tsar Alexander II to commemorate the monarch’s narrow escape from an assassination attempt on April 4, 1866. Hartmann regarded his design as the best work he had done. His design won the national competition but plans to build the structure were later cancelled.

The movement’s grand main theme exalts the opening Promenade much as „Baba Yaga“ amplified „Gnomus“; also like that movement, it evens out the meter of its earlier counterpart. The solemn secondary theme is based on a baptismal hymn from the repertory of Russian Orthodox chant.

The movement is cast as a broad rondo in two main sections: ABAB–CADA. The first half of the movement sets up the expectation of an ABABA pattern. The interruption of this pattern with new music just before its expected conclusion gives the rest of the movement the feeling of a vast extension. This extended leave-taking acts as a coda for the suite as a whole.

  • A: Main Theme (forte, then fortissimo); maestoso
  • B: Hymn Theme (piano) (A minor); senza espressione (without expression)
  • A: Main Theme (forte); descending and ascending scale figures suggest carillons.
  • B: Hymn Theme (fortissimo) (E minor); senza espressione
  • C: Interlude/Transition (mezzo forte with crescendo to forte); promenade theme recalled. Suggestions of clockwork, bells, ascent.
  • A: Main Theme (fortissimo); Meno mosso, sempre maestoso. Triplet figuration.
  • D: Interlude/Transition (mezzo forte with crescendo). Triplets.
  • A: Main Theme (fortissimo); Grave, sempre allargando. The tempo slows to a standstill by the final cadence.

Orchesterwerke Romantik Themen.pdf

Recording of the original manuscript

In 2009 the German pianist Lars David Kellner [de] published the original version of Gnomus on his Mussorgsky album (Enharmonic) as a première. In 2014 the Russian pianist Andrej Hoteev presented (in a CD recording) a performance of „Pictures at an Exhibition“ based on original manuscripts[17] he consulted in the Russian National Library at Saint Petersburg.[18] Hoteev found numerous discrepancies with conventional sheet music editions.[19] He believes his recorded version expresses the composer’s original intent.[20] The most important deviations are documented with illustrations from the manuscripts in the accompanying CD booklet.[21]

Arrangements and interpretations

The opening bars of Tushmalov’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition

The first musician to arrange Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for orchestra was the Russian composer and conductor Mikhail Tushmalov. However, his version (first performed in 1891 and possibly produced as early as 1886 when he was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov)[22] does not include the entire suite: Only seven of the ten „pictures“ are present, leaving out „Gnomus“, „Tuileries“, and „Cattle“, and all the Promenades are omitted except for the last one, which is used in place of the first.

The next orchestration was undertaken by the British conductor Henry Wood in 1915. He recorded a few sections of his arrangement on a pair of acoustic Columbia 78rpm discs in 1920. However, he withdrew his version when Maurice Ravel’s orchestration was published, and banned every public performance in the 1930s in deference to Ravel’s work. Wood’s arrangement has also been recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Nicholas Braithwaite and issued on the Lyrita label. All but the first of the Promenade movements were omitted and other passages extensively re-composed. Wood’s orchestration was once described by Gordon Jacob as „superior to Ravel’s in picturesqueness and vividness“,[23] with its off-stage camel-bells in „Cattle“ and grand organ in „The Great Gate of Kiev“.

The first person to orchestrate the piece in its entirety was the Slovenian-born conductor and violinist Leo Funtek, who finished his version in 1922 while living and working in Finland.

The version by Maurice Ravel, produced in 1922 on a commission by Serge Koussevitzky, represents a virtuoso effort by a master colourist. The orchestration has proved the most popular in the concert hall and on record.

Ravel omitted the Promenade between „Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuÿle“ and „Limoges“ and applied artistic license to some particulars of dynamics and notation. His instrumental colors—a trumpet solo for the opening Promenade, dark woodwind tones for passages suggesting Orthodox chant, the piccolo and high strings for the children’s „chicks in shells“—are widely admired. The influence of Ravel’s version may often be discerned in subsequent versions of the suite.

Koussevitzky’s commission, worked out with the publishers of the piano suite, gave him sole conducting rights for several years. He conducted the first performance in Paris on October 19, 1922.[24] He published Ravel’s score himself and in 1930 made the first recording of it with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The exclusive nature of his commission prompted the release of a number of contemporary versions by other arrangers until Ravel’s became generally available.

The original publisher of Mussorgsky’s piano suite, W. Bessel & Co. rushed to produce an orchestral version of its own after Ravel’s proved popular. The publisher had passed on the opportunity to publish Ravel’s arrangement, seeing no great commercial advantage in printing a score and set of parts for large orchestra; it had granted Koussevitzky permission to commission the setting and publish the score himself on the condition that no one else be allowed to perform it. Bessel turned to a Ravel student, 21-year-old Russian-born pianist Leonidas Leonardi (1901–1967), a.k.a. Leon Leonardi or Leonid Leonardi, to create an orchestral version that could meet the now burgeoning demand and help the publisher regain some of its lost advantage. Leonardi’s orchestration requires even larger forces than the version made by his mentor. The young pianist dedicated his setting of the suite to Igor Stravinsky and conducted the première in Paris with the Lamoureux Orchestra on 15 June 1924. The US première took place on 4 December 1924 when the New York Symphony Orchestra performed it under the baton of Walter Damrosch. Regardless, Leonardi’s orchestration was soon eclipsed by Ravel’s, and today only the third Promenade and „Tuileries“ movement of his version may be heard on audio record (Leonard Slatkin/Saint Louis Symphony: The Slatkin Years: 6 CD Set).

Another arrangement appeared when Eugene Ormandy took over the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1936 following Leopold Stokowski’s decision to resign the conductorship. Ormandy wanted a version of Pictures of his own and commissioned Lucien Cailliet, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s ‚house arranger‘ and player in the woodwind section, to produce one. This version was premiered and recorded by Ormandy in 1937. Walter Goehr published a version in 1942 for smaller forces than Ravel but curiously dropped „Gnomus“ altogether and made „Limoges“ the first piece.

The conductor Leopold Stokowski had introduced Ravel’s version to Philadelphia audiences in November 1929; ten years later he produced his own very free orchestration (incorporating much re-composition), aiming for what he called a more Slavic orchestral sound instead of Ravel’s more Gallic approach. Stokowski revised his version over the years and made three gramophone recordings of it (1939, 1941 and 1965). The score, finally published in 1971, has since been recorded by other conductors, including Matthias Bamert, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Oliver Knussen and José Serebrier.

Although Ravel’s version is most often performed and recorded, a number of conductors have made their own changes to the scoring, including Arturo Toscanini, Nikolai Golovanov, and James Conlon. Conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy produced his own orchestral arrangement, expressing dissatisfaction with Ravel’s interpretive liberties and perpetuation of early printing errors.[25] The conductor Leonard Slatkin has performed compendium versions, in which each Promenade and picture is interpreted by a different orchestral arranger.

Many other orchestrations and arrangements of Pictures have been made. Most show debts to Ravel; the original piano composition is, of course, frequently performed and recorded. A version for chamber orchestra exists, made by Taiwanese composer Chao Ching-Wen. Elgar Howarth arranged it for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble in 1977, subsequently recasting it for Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Kazuhito Yamashita wrote an adaptation for solo classical guitar. Excerpts have also been recorded, including a 78 rpm disc of „The Old Castle“ and „Catacombs“ orchestrated by Sir Granville Bantock, and a spectacular version of „The Great Gate of Kiev“ was scored by Douglas Gamley for full symphony orchestra, male voice choir and organ. The Amadeus Orchestra (UK) commissioned ten composers to orchestrate one movement each to make a version first performed complete in 2012.[26] Movements were provided by Alastair King, Roger May, Tolib Shakhidi, David Butterworth, Philip Mackenzie, Simon Whiteside, Daryl Griffiths, Natalia Villanueva, James McWilliam and Julian Kershaw.[26]

The suite has inspired homages in a broad range of musical styles. Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s version incorporated elements of progressive rock, jazz and folk music (1971÷2008). An electronic music adaptation by Isao Tomita was done in 1975. A heavy metal arrangement of the entire suite was released by German band Mekong Delta; another metal band, Armored Saint, utilised the „Great Gate of Kiev“ theme as an introduction for the track „March of the Saint“. In 2002 electronic musician-composer Amon Tobin paraphrased „Gnomus“ for the track „Back From Space“ on his album Out from Out Where.[27] In 2003 guitarist-composer Trevor Rabin released an electric guitar adaptation of the Promenade originally intended for the Yes album Big Generator and later included on his demo album 90124. In 2005 Animusic 2 included a track entitled „Cathedral Pictures“, which included only the first Promenade and the final two movements from the suite. The Michael Jackson song „HIStory“ samples a short section of „The Great Gate of Kiev“, with a longer part featured during the HIStory World Tour finale in 1997. Re-issues of the HIStory album further changed the sample on the track.


A partial listing of orchestral arrangements of Pictures at an Exhibition:

Arrangements for concert band

  • Erik W. G. Leidzén for the Edwin Franko Goldman band (1941; in three parts. Part 1 includes Promenade, The Old Castle, Tuileries, Bydło, and Ballet of the Unhatched Chickens, part 2 includes The Market Place at Limoges and Catacombs, and part 3 includes The Hut Of Baba-Yaga and The Great Gate of Kiev); published by Carl Fischer, Inc.
  • James Curnow (1985; for large wind ensemble; abridged version)

Arrangements for other ensembles

Arrangements of Pictures at an Exhibition for performing ensembles other than orchestra:

Staging by Kandinsky

In 1928, the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky created a stage show by combining his own designs for the pictures with a performance of the piano score.[36] Since it was put on at Dessau, elements of the staging have been lost. However, it has proved possible to animate the surviving art work using video technology.

Staging by Gen Atem and S213

In a hall on Attisholz-Areal, Switzerland, Gen Atem and S213 had a première performance on the basis of Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s piano cycle in August 2021. Kaspar Zehnder and the Theatre Orchester Biel Solothurn provided the acoustical background in its entirety.[37][38]


  1. ^ Russian: Картинки с выставки – Воспоминание о Викторе Гартмане, romanized: Kartínki s výstavki – Vospominániye o Víktore Gártmane, lit.‚Pictures from an Exhibition – A Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann‘, French: Tableaux d’une exposition


  1. ^ a b Mussorgsky 1984, p. 339.
  2. ^ Orlova 1991, p. 13.
  3. ^ Orlova 1991, p. 90.
  4. ^ Orlova 1991, p. 93.
  5. ^ Orlova, Aleksandra A. (1983). Musorgsky’s Days and Works: A Biography in Documents. UMI Research Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0835713245.
  6. ^ Mussorgsky 1984, p. 185.
  7. ^ Mussorgsky 1931, Preface.
  8. ^ Mussorgsky 1975, Title page.
  9. ^ Orlova 1991, p. xi.
  10. ^ Orlova 1991, p. 92.
  11. ^ Frankenstein 1939.
  12. ^ Taruskin 1993, pp. 379–383.
  13. ^ Calvocoressi & Abraham 1974, pp. 172–173.
  14. ^ See Pavel Lamm’s 1931 edition.
  15. ^ Frankenstein 1939, p. 282.
  16. ^ Calvocoressi & Abraham 1974, p. 172.
  17. ^ Discographie Archived 2014-11-06 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Pure Mussorgsky Presto Classical 20 Oct 2014
  19. ^ Remy Franck:Mussorgsky of the original manuscript, Pizzikato 24.09.2014
  20. ^ Heinz Gelking:„Pure Mussorgsky“
  21. ^ Dorothea Bossert:Diese CD hat Folgen SWR2 16.9.2014
  22. ^ a b Russ 1992, p. 76.
  23. ^ Gordon Jacob Orchestral Technique. A manual for students; Oxford University Press, 2nd edition 1940/1973, p 103
  24. ^ Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Maurice Ravel
  25. ^ Parrott & Ashkenazy 1984, p. 164.
  26. ^ a b c „Amadeus Orchestra plays music of Tolibkhon Shakhidi“. Tolibkhon Shakhidi. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  27. ^ „Amon Tobin’s Back From Space sample of Modest Mussorgsky and Maurice Ravel’s Gnomus“.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h von Rhein, John (November 2, 1980). „Slatkin’s Departure with ‚Pictures‘ has its Gains and Losses“. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  29. ^ „Ensaio Aberto: Mechetti Rege Tchaikovsky e Mussorgsky por Mignone“ (in Portuguese). Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. May 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2019. A rara versão de Quadros de Uma Exposição ... foi orquestrada pelo compositor brasileiro Francisco Mignone (1897–1986). Segundo sua mulher, a pianista Maria Josephina, a grade orquestral, até então desconhecida, foi encontrada em uma gaveta após a morte do marido em 1986. [A rare version of Pictures at an Exhibition ... was orchestrated by the Brazilian composer Francisco Mignone (1897–1986). According to his wife, the pianist Maria Josephina, the hitherto unknown orchestral arrangement was found in a drawer after her husband’s death in 1986.])
  30. ^ „Pictures at an exhibition; arr. for sixteen players or chamber orchestra; a moderately modern rendition by immodest Julian Yu“. Australian Music Centre. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  31. ^ „Program Notes: Pictures at an Exhibition“. Portland Chamber Orchestra. May 9–11, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  32. ^ Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2015). The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 9781611729092.
  33. ^ Coelho, Victor Anand (2003). The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar. Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN 9780521000406.
  34. ^ „Gottfried Yaron, conductor“. The Israeli Opera. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  35. ^ „Pictures at an Exhibition, by Boris Ivanov“. Boris Ivanov. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  36. ^ Rudy, Mikhail. „Wassily Kandinsky - Pictures at an Exhibition“.
  37. ^ „Bilder einer Ausstellung – TOBS Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn“.
  38. ^ „Live-Art-Performance in der Kiesofenhalle: Mussorgsky ganz neu interpretiert“.


  • Calvocoressi, Michel D.; Abraham, Gerald (1974) [1946]. Mussorgsky. Master Musicians, New Series (revised ed.). London: J. M. Dent & Sons. ISBN 0-460-03152-X. (originally published: Dutton, New York)
  • Frankenstein, Alfred (July 1939). „Victor Hartmann and Modeste Musorgsky“. The Musical Quarterly. 25 (3): 268–291. doi:10.1093/mq/XXV.3.268.
  • Mussorgsky, M., M. P. Musorgskiy: Letters, Gordeyeva, Ye. (editor), 2nd edition. Moscow: Music (publisher), 1984 [Мусоргский, М., М. П. Мусоргский: Письма, Гордеева, Е. (редактор), издание второе, Москва: Музыка, 1984].
  • Mussorgsky, M., Pictures from an Exhibition (score), edited by P. Lamm. Moscow: Muzgiz, 1931
  • Mussorgsky, M., Pictures from an Exhibition (manuscript facsimile). Moscow: Muzïka, 1975
  • Orlova, A., Musorgsky Remembered, translated by Zaytzeff, V., and Morrison, F., Bloomington and Indianopolis: Indiana University Press, 1991
  • Parrott, Jasper, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Beyond Frontiers. London: Collins; London: Hamilton; New York: Atheneum, 1984.ISBN 0-00-216373-X (Collins);ISBN 0−241−11575−2 (Hamilton);ISBN 0−689−11505−9 (Atheneum)
  • Russ, Michael (1992). Musorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition. Cambridge Music Handbooks. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521386074.
  • Taruskin, Richard (1993). Musorgsky: Eight Essays and an Epilogue. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0−691−09147−1.

Further reading

  • Calvocoressi, Michel D., Modest Mussorgsky: His Life and Works. London: Rockliff; Fair Lawn, New Jersey: Essential Books, 1956.
  • Dubal, David, The Art of the Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and Recordings, third edition, revised and expanded. With accompanying CD recording. Pompton Plains, New Jersey: Amadeus Press, 2004.ISBN 1−57467−088−3.
  • Mussorgsky, M., Pictures from an Exhibition (score), edited by N. Rimsky-Korsakov. Saint-Petersburg: V. Bessel & Co., 1886
  • Orga, Ates, „Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on record“. International Piano Quarterly 2, no. 5 (Autumn 1998): 32–47.
  • Schonberg, Harold C. The Lives of the Great Composers, revised edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981.ISBN 0−393−01302−2. London: Abacus, 1997.ISBN 0−349−10972−9.

External links


Veröffentlichungen von Chicago Symphony Orchestra die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Mussorgsky, Ravel: Pictures At An Exhibition

Chicago Symphony Orchestra auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra logo.svg
Founded1891; 131 years ago (1891)
LocationChicago, Illinois, US
Concert hallSymphony Center
Music directorRiccardo Muti
The Orchestra performs in Orchestra Hall at the Chicago Symphony Center

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was founded by Theodore Thomas in 1891. The ensemble makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival. The music director is Riccardo Muti, who began his tenure in 2010. The CSO is one of five American orchestras commonly referred to as the „Big Five“.[1]


Theodore Thomas, founding father and first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In 1890, Charles Norman Fay, a Chicago businessman, invited Theodore Thomas to establish an orchestra in Chicago. Under the name „Chicago Orchestra,“ the orchestra played its first concert October 16, 1891 at the Auditorium Theater. It is one of the oldest orchestras in the United States, along with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Orchestra Hall, now a component of the Symphony Center complex, was designed by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham and completed in 1904. Maestro Thomas served as music director for thirteen years until his death shortly after the orchestra’s newly built residence was dedicated December 14, 1904. The orchestra was renamed „Theodore Thomas Orchestra“ in 1905 and today, Orchestra Hall still has „Theodore Thomas Orchestra Hall“ inscribed in its façade.

In 1905, Frederick Stock became music director, a post he held until his death in 1942. The orchestra was renamed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1913.

Subsequent music directors have included Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodziński, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, Georg Solti, and Daniel Barenboim. Solti thought it was essential to raise the orchestra’s international profile. He led it in a European tour in 1971, playing in ten countries. It was the first time in its 80-year history that the orchestra had played outside of North America.[2] The orchestra received plaudits from European critics,[3][n 1] and was welcomed home at the end of the tour with a ticker-tape parade.[6]

On May 5, 2008, the CSO announced the appointment Riccardo Muti as its 10th music director, starting with the 2010–2011 season, for an initial contract of 5 years.[7] His contract was renewed for another five years, through the 2020 season.[8] Muti’s most recent CSO contract extension, announced in January 2018, is through the 2021–2022 season.[9] In January 2020, the CSO confirmed that Muti is to conclude his music directorship of the orchestra at the close of the 2021–2022 season.[10] In September 2021, the CSO announced a revision to Muti’s contract as its music director, with a extension of the scheduled closing date of his tenure to the end of the 2022-2023 season.[11]

The orchestra has also hosted many distinguished guest conductors, including Thomas Beecham, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Edward Elgar, Morton Gould, Paul Hindemith, Erich Kunzel, Erich Leinsdorf, Charles Munch, Eugene Ormandy, André Previn, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Arnold Schoenberg, Leonard Slatkin, Leopold Stokowski, James Levine, Richard Strauss, George Szell, Klaus Tennstedt, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bruno Walter, and John Williams. Many of these guests have also recorded with the orchestra. Carlos Kleiber made his only symphonic guest appearances in America with the CSO in October 1978 and June 1983.

The three principal guest conductors of the orchestra have been Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, and Pierre Boulez.

The CSO holds an annual fundraiser, originally known as the Chicago Symphony Marathon, more recently as „Radiothon“ and „Symphonython,“ in conjunction with Chicago radio station WFMT. As part of the event, from 1986 through 2008, the orchestra released tracks from their broadcast archives on double LP/CD collections, as well as two larger sets of broadcasts and rarities (CSO: The First 100 Years, 12 CDs, 1991; CSO in the 20th Century: Collector’s Choice, 10 CDs, 2000).

Ravinia Festival

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra maintains a summer home at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. The CSO first performed there during Ravinia Park’s second season on November 20, 1905,[12] and continued to appear there on and off through August 1931, after which the Park fell dark due to the Great Depression. The CSO helped to inaugurate the first season of the Ravinia Festival on July 3, 1936,[13] and has been in residence at the Festival every summer since. The one exception to this is during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the orchestra did not perform any concerts due to Ravinia announcing that it had cancelled all concerts for the 2020 season.[14]

Many conductors have made their debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, and several have gone on to become music director for the festival, including Seiji Ozawa (1964–68), James Levine (1973–93), and Christoph Eschenbach (1995–2003). James Conlon, held the title from 2005 until 2015.[15] The Ravinia Festival created an honorific title for James Levine, „Conductor Laureate“, and signed him to a five-year renewable contract beginning in 2018. On December 4, 2017, after Levine was accused of sexual misconduct, the Ravinia Festival severed all ties with Levine, and terminated his five-year contract to lead the Chicago Symphony there.[16] Marin Alsop served as the festival’s first artistic curator from 2018 until 2019, and she is scheduled to begin her tenure as chief conductor and curator in 2021.


The Chicago Symphony has amassed an extensive discography. Recordings by the CSO have earned 63 Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. These include several Classical Album of the Year awards, awards in Best Classical Performance in vocal soloist, choral, instrumental, engineering and orchestral categories.

On May 1, 1916, Frederick Stock and the orchestra recorded the Wedding March from Felix Mendelssohn’s music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Columbia Records. Stock and the CSO made numerous recordings for Columbia and the Victor Talking Machine Company/RCA Victor. The Chicago Symphony’s first electrical recordings were made for Victor in December 1925, including a performance of Karl Goldmark’s In Springtime overture. These early electrical recordings were made in Victor’s Chicago studios; within a couple of years Victor began recording the CSO in Orchestra Hall. Stock continued recording for Columbia and RCA Victor until his death in 1942.

In 1951, Rafael Kubelík made the first modern high fidelity recordings with the orchestra, in Orchestra Hall, for Mercury. Like the very first electrical recordings, these performances were made with a single microphone. Philips has reissued these performances on compact disc with the original Mercury label and liner notes.

Sir Georg Solti

In March 1954, Fritz Reiner made the first stereophonic recordings with the CSO, again in Orchestra Hall, for RCA Victor, including performances of two symphonic poems by Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben and Also sprach Zarathustra. Reiner and the orchestra continued to record for RCA Victor through 1963. These were mostly recorded in RCA Victor’s triple-channel „Living Stereo“ process. RCA has digitally remastered the recordings and released them on CD and SACD. Jean Martinon also recorded with the CSO for RCA Victor during the 1960s, producing performances that have been reissued on CD.

Sir Georg Solti recorded with the CSO primarily for Decca Records. These Solti recordings were issued in the U.S. on the London label and include a highly acclaimed Mahler series, recorded, in part, in the historic Medinah Temple—some installments were recorded in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois (in Urbana), as well as in the Sofiensaal in Vienna, Austria. Many of the recordings with Daniel Barenboim were released on Teldec.

In 2007, the Chicago Symphony formed its own recording label, CSO Resound. After an agreement was reached with the Orchestra’s musicians, arrangements were made for new recordings to be released digitally at online outlets and on compact disc.[17] The first CSO Resound CD, a recording of Haitink’s rendition of Mahler’s Third Symphony, was released in the spring of 2007. Releases that followed included Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, and Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony (Grammy winner), all conducted by Haitink; Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony led by Myung-Whun Chung; „Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of Silk Road Chicago“ with the Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma (Grammy winner); and recordings of Verdi’s Requiem (Grammy winner) and Otello, under the direction of Muti.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus have recorded the music for two movies: Fantasia 2000 conducted by James Levine and Lincoln conducted by John Williams. Selections from the Orchestra and Chorus’s recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion, conducted by Sir Georg Solti, were used in the movie Casino.


The Chicago Symphony first broadcast on the radio in 1925. Though often sporadic, there have been broadcasts ever since. With the 1965–1966 season, Chicago radio station WFMT began regular tape-delayed stereo broadcasts of CSO concerts, running through the 1968–1969 season. They resumed from 1976 through the 2000–2001 season before ceasing due to lack of sponsorship. In 2007, the broadcasts once again resumed with a 52-week series. The broadcasts were originally sponsored by BP and air on 98.7 WFMT in Chicago and the WFMT Radio Network. They consist of 39 weeks of recordings of live concerts, as well as highlights from the CSO’s vast discography.[17]

The CSO appeared in a series of telecasts on WGN-TV, beginning in 1953. The early 1960s saw the videotaped telecast series Music from Chicago, conducted by Fritz Reiner and guest conductors including Arthur Fiedler, George Szell, Pierre Monteux, and Charles Munch. Many of these televised concerts, from 1953 to 1963, have since been released to DVD by VAI Distribution.

Sir Georg Solti also conducted a series of concerts with the Chicago Symphony that were recorded for the European firm Unitel and were broadcast in the 1970s on PBS. They have subsequently been reissued by Decca Video on DVD.

Civic Orchestra of Chicago

Frederick Stock founded the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the first training orchestra in the United States affiliated with a major symphony orchestra, in 1919. Its goal is to recruit pre-professional musicians and train them as high-level orchestra players. Many alumni have gone on to play for the CSO or other major orchestras. It is currently the only training orchestra sponsored by a major orchestra in North America.

The Civic Orchestra performs half a dozen orchestral concerts and a chamber music series annually in Symphony Center and in other venues throughout the Chicago area free of charge to the public.

Music directors, conductors

Honors and awards

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was voted the best orchestra in the United States and the fifth best orchestra in the world by editors of the British classical music magazine Gramophone in November, 2008.[18] The same was said by a panel of critics polled by the classical music website bachtrack in September, 2015.[19]

Grammy Awards

Riccardo Muti

Recordings by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have earned sixty-three Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Riccardo Muti, music director, has won two Grammy Awards, both with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, for the recording of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem on the CSO Resound label. Duain Wolfe, chorus director, has won two Grammy Awards for his collaboration with the Chorus, also for Verdi’s Messa da Requiem on the CSO Resound label.

Bernard Haitink, former principal conductor, has won two Grammy Awards, including one with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the recording of Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony on the CSO Resound label.

Pierre Boulez, former conductor emeritus and principal guest conductor, won twenty-six Grammy Awards including eight with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Boulez is the fifth all-time Grammy winner, behind Sir Georg Solti (thirty-one), Quincy Jones and Beyoncé (both twenty-eight), and Alison Krauss (twenty-seven). Boulez also received the Academy’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sir Georg Solti, former music director and music director laureate, won thirty-one Grammy Awards—more than any other recording artist. He received seven awards in addition to his twenty-four awards with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. In addition, Sir Georg Solti and producer John Culshaw received the first NARAS Trustees’ Award in 1967 for their „efforts, ingenuity, and artistic contributions“ in connection with the first complete recording of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Vienna Philharmonic. Solti also received the Academy’s 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Margaret Hillis, founder and longtime director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, won nine Grammy Awards for her collaborations with the Orchestra and Chorus.

Volunteer groups

  • African American Network
  • Governing Members (established 1894)[20]
  • Latino Alliance
  • League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (formerly the Women’s Association, established 1934)[21]
  • Overture Council (established 2009)[22]
  • Women’s Board [23]

See also


  1. ^ After the orchestra played at the Edinburgh Festival the critic William Mann wrote, „I am tempted to describe it as the United States‘ most completely accomplished orchestra. It has the fine attack of the New York Phil under Bernstein, the radiance of the Boston under Leinsdorf, the classic elegance of the Cleveland under Szell, and to these qualities it adds, under Solti, a warm, human musical expressiveness that one associates with European rather than modern American orchestras.“[4] After one of the London concerts, Alan Blyth wrote, „nobody could doubt that this is about the most formidably-equipped orchestra in the world at present“.[5]


  1. ^ Walsh, Michael (25 April 1983). „Which U.S. Orchestras are Best?“. Time. Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  2. ^ Greenfield, Edward. „The great provincials“, The Guardian, 4 October 1971, p. 8
  3. ^ „Symphony returns“, Chicago Daily Defender, 6 October 1971, p. 20
  4. ^ Mann, William. „Chicago SO“, The Times, 6 September 1971, p. 8
  5. ^ Blyth, Alan. „Chicago SO/Solti“, The Times 5 October 1971, p. 17
  6. ^ Follows, Stephen. „Solti, Sir Georg (1912–1997)“, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, January 2011, accessed 22 February 2012 (subscription required)
  7. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (5 May 2008). „And the Brass Ring Goes to Chicago Symphony: Riccardo Muti Says Yes“. The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  8. ^ Patner, Andrew (3 February 2014). „Chicago - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports“. Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  9. ^ „Riccardo Muti to remain CSO music director until 2021-22“ (Press release). Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  10. ^ „Muti talks about ’20−21 season, also Cavalleria rusticana, on WDCB-FM“ (Press release). Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  11. ^ „Riccardo Muti extends contract as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through 2023“ (PDF) (Press release). Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 23 September 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  12. ^ „125 Moments: 054 Ravinia Park | from the archives“. 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  13. ^ „125 Moments: 064 Ravinia Festival | from the archives“. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  14. ^ „Ravinia Cancels 2020 Season Due to Covid Pandemic“. Ravinia Festival. May 1, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  15. ^ „125 Moments: 116 James Conlon | from the archives“. 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  16. ^ Fanto, Clarence (2017−12−06). „Boston Symphony management to industry: Reflect upon reports of sexual misconduct“. The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  17. ^ a b „Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces Major Radio and Recording Initiaves“ (Press release). Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 2006-11-30. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  18. ^ Huizenga, Tom (21 November 2008). „Chicago Symphony Tops U.S. Orchestras“. Morning Edition. NPR. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  19. ^ Pullinger, Mark (3 September 2015), „Chailly and the Berliner Philharmoniker: the critics‘ choice for World’s Best Conductor and Orchestra“,, archived from the original on 24 July 2016, retrieved 2015-11-30
  20. ^ „Governing Members“. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  21. ^ „Chicago Symphony Orchestra“. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  22. ^ „Chicago Symphony Orchestra“. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  23. ^ „Women’s Board“. Retrieved 2020-04-22.

External links

Veröffentlichungen von Rafael Kubelík die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Mussorgsky, Ravel: Pictures At An Exhibition

Rafael Kubelík auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Rafael Kubelík (links) 1950

Jeroným Rafael Kubelík (* 29. Juni 1914 auf Schloss Horskyfeld in Býchory, Böhmen; † 11. August 1996 in Kastanienbaum, Kanton Luzern) war ein tschechisch-schweizerischer Dirigent und Komponist.


Herkunft und Ausbildung

Rafael Kubelík war das sechste von acht Kindern des Geigers Jan Kubelík.[1] Er hatte fünf ältere Schwestern, die alle Geige spielten,[2] und zwei jüngere Brüder, von denen der jüngste im Alter von zwei Jahren starb. Der Vater förderte seine musikalische Ausbildung. Rafael Kubelík studierte am Prager Konservatorium Violine, Klavier, Dirigieren und Komposition.


Im Alter von 19 Jahren dirigierte Kubelík am 16. Februar 1934 zum ersten Mal die Tschechische Philharmonie.[1] Während der deutschen Besatzungszeit war Kubelík von 1939 bis 1941 Opernchef an der Brünner Oper. Er wurde 1942 als Nachfolger von Václav Talich Chefdirigent der Tschechischen Philharmonie und behielt diese Position bis 1948. 1946 eröffnete er den ersten Jahrgang des Festivals Prager Frühling.

Zusammen mit seiner ersten Frau Ludmila Bertlová, einer Geigerin, verließ Kubelík nach dem Februarumsturz 1948 seine Heimat und wirkte zunächst einige Jahre in den USA. Von 1950 bis 1953 war er Music Director beim Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Von 1955 bis 1958 war er Chief Administrator des Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London. Er leitete 1957 die Weltpremiere einer gekürzten Fassung der Oper Les Troyens von Hector Berlioz, die im Jahr 1858 von der Opéra in Paris abgelehnt worden war. Von 1958 bis 1961 arbeitete er als Gastdirigent mit vielen Orchestern zusammen, darunter die Wiener Philharmoniker und das Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.[3]

Von 1961 bis 1979 war Kubelík Chefdirigent des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BRSO).[4] Als er 1979 das Pensionsalter erreicht hatte, endete sein Vertrag als Chefdirigent. Danach stand er dem Orchester als ständiger Gastdirigent weiterhin zur Verfügung, formell noch bis 1985.[4] Er nahm diese Aufgabe jedoch nur bis 1983 wahr, als Colin Davis sein Nachfolger als Chefdirigent wurde.[1]

1973/1974 war Kubelík sechs Monate lang Music Director an der Metropolitan Opera („Met“) in New York. Göran Gentele, der Nachfolger von Rudolf Bing als Intendant der Met, hatte ihn 1971 eingeladen, das neu geschaffene Amt zu übernehmen. Kubelík sagte zu (obwohl im sein Freund Otto Klemperer abgeraten hatte[3]), teils weil er und Gentele ähnliche Vorstellungen zur künstlerischen Weiterentwicklung der Met hatten. Als Gentele 1972 bei einem Autounfall starb, schwand Kubelíks Interesse an der bevorstehenden Aufgabe. Parallel zu seiner Arbeit an der Met nahm er weitere Verpflichtungen an, was zu Spannungen führte. Schließlich verließ er New York nach nur einer Saison und kehrte nach Europa zurück.[1]

Das BRSO war unter Kubelíks Leitung 1965 erstmals beim Lucerne Festival aufgetreten und blieb dem Festival danach dauerhaft verbunden.[5] 1984 stand beim Lucerne Festival „Musik aus der Tschechoslowakei“ auf der Agenda. Kubelík nahm ein letztes Mal mit dem BRSO teil und beschloss das Festival mit einer Gesamtaufführung von Smetanas Zyklus Mein Vaterland (tschechisch Má Vlast).[6]

Kubelík galt vor allem als Spezialist für tschechische Komponisten, wobei seine Interpretationen der Kompositionen von Dvořák und Janáček Maßstäbe gesetzt haben. Auch für das Werk Gustav Mahlers setzte er sich ein und begann in den 1960er Jahren als erster mit einer Gesamteinspielung von dessen Sinfonien auf Schallplatte (er wurde allerdings in diesem Unterfangen von Leonard Bernstein „überholt“, dessen später begonnene Gesamtaufnahme zuerst fertiggestellt wurde). Für diesen Einsatz erhielt er von der Internationalen Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft 1960 die goldene Mahler-Medaille.[7]

1984 zog er sich vom Dirigieren zurück, um nur noch zu komponieren. Nach der Samtenen Revolution kehrte er 1990 auf Einladung von Václav Havel nach Prag zurück, um dort beim Eröffnungskonzert des Prager Frühlings am 12. Mai Smetanas Má Vlast zu dirigieren.[8] Dies war sein erster Auftritt in der Heimat seit seiner Emigration im Jahr 1948.[9] Am 9. Juni[10] gab er ein weiteres Konzert auf dem Altstädter Ring in Prag, bei dem er Musiker der Tschechischen Philharmonie aus Prag, der Slowakischen Philharmonie aus Bratislava und der Mährischen Philharmonie aus Brno and the zu einem gewaltigen Orchester vereinte.[11]

Am 11. Oktober 1991 gab der 77-jährige Kubelík sein letztes Konzert in Europa, ein Benefizkonzert zugunsten der karitativen Stiftung von Václav Havels Gattin Olga Havlová, bei dem Mozart und Dvořáks Sinfonie Aus der Neuen Welt gespielt wurden.[10] Danach hatte er anlässlich des 100-jährigen Jubiläums des Chicago Symphony Orchestra noch einmal einen glanzvollen Auftritt in Amerika. Beim abschließenden Galakonzert am 18. Oktober, bei dem dieselben Werke gespielt wurden wie bei den beiden Eröffnungskonzerten im Jahr 1891, teilte sich der neue Chefdirigent Daniel Barenboim das Dirigat mit seinen Vorgängern Kubelík und Solti. Kubelík dirigierte das letzte Werk des Abends, Dvořáks dramatische Ouvertüre Husitská.[12]


Kubelík komponierte unter anderem fünf Opern, drei Sinfonien, drei Requiems, weitere Chorwerke, Kammermusik und Lieder.[13] Musik mit religiösem Bezug nimmt einen Schwerpunkt in Kubelíks Werken ein. Zu dieser Kategorie zählen neben den Oper Veronica und den drei Requiems ein Stabat Mater, Psalmen, Messen, Kantaten und weitere Chorwerke.[14]

In Grove Music Online wird der Stil seiner Musik als „neoromantisch“ beschrieben.[13] Er selbst sagte, dass verschiedene Elemente in seine Musik einflossen, vom böhmischen Volkslied bis zur Zwölftonmusik.[14] Beim Komponieren fühlte er sich nach eigener Aussage „immer durch das Leben bedrängt“. Er wollte, dass jeder Takt seiner Musik vom Leben legitimiert sei.[14]

Zu den Opern zählen:


1942 heiratete Kubelík die tschechische Geigerin Ludmila Bertlová. 1946 wurde der gemeinsame Sohn Martin geboren, er wurde Architekturhistoriker.[1] Nach der Emigration im Jahr 1948 setzte Ludmila Kubelík ihre Karriere im Exil fort.[2] Sie starb 1961 in Luzern infolge eines Verkehrsunfalls.[16][17] Kubelík widmete ihr sein zweites Requiem, das 1962 in Luzern uraufgeführt wurde.[14]

1963 heiratete Kubelík die australische Sopranistin Elsie Morison (1924–2016). Er hatte sie kennengelernt, als er am Royal Opera House in London zu arbeiten begann und die Besetzung für Smetanas Oper Die verkaufte Braut auswählte[18] – er gab ihr die Titelrolle. Sie kamen einander aber erst später näher, als sie sich beim Mozartfest Würzburg wieder begegneten.[19] Nach der Heirat gab sie ihre Karriere auf,[20] war damit aber glücklich.[2] Sie entschied sich bewusst für das Privatleben in dem Gefühl, dass sie als Sängerin ihren Traum verwirklicht hatte.[21] Die Ehe blieb kinderlos. Kubelíks Sohn Martin aus erster Ehe nennt sie „meine zweite Mutter“.[22]

Seit 1953 hatte Kubelík einen Wohnsitz in der Schweiz, zunächst in Luzern. Ab 1968 lebte er in Kastanienbaum nahe Luzern, direkt am Ufer des Vierwaldstättersees.[10] Dort wohnte er mit seiner zweiten Frau Elsie in einem alten Haus, das ihnen Freunde bei einem Besuch zum Kauf angeboten hatten. Zunächst fehlte noch ein großer Raum für die Musik, deshalb ließen sie diesen dazubauen.[23] 1973 erwarb Kubelík die Schweizer Staatsbürgerschaft.

Kubelík und seine Schwester Anita gehörten zu den Gründungsmitgliedern der Jan-Kubelík-Gesellschaft, die 1990 in Prag gegründet wurde und sich dem Werk seines Vaters widmet.[24]

Grabplatte am Slavín-Monument auf dem Vyšehrader Friedhof in Prag

Rafael Kubelík starb 1996 im Alter von 82 Jahren in Kastanienbaum im Kanton Luzern. Er ist auf dem Vyšehrader Friedhof in Prag bestattet. Seine Asche befindet sich neben der seines Vaters im Slavín-Mausoleum.



Florian Sonnleitner, langjähriger Konzertmeister des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks, berichtete über ein ungewöhnliches Ritual aus der Zeit, als Kubelík Chefdirigent war. Wenn Kubelík unter Applaus auf die Bühne kam und sich nach der Verbeugung auf dem Dirigentenpodest dem Orchester zuwandte, hörte das Publikum einfach nicht auf zu klatschen. Kubelík war dadurch immer genötigt, sich noch einmal umzudrehen und ein zweites Mal zu verbeugen, bevor das Konzert beginnen konnte. Über Jahre sei es Kubelík gelungen, jedes Mal zum Ausdruck zu bringen, dass er ganz überrascht sei und sich über den Zuspruch besonders freue. Er habe dabei aber nie unecht gewirkt.[25] Sonnleitner, der nach Kubelík auch Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel und Mariss Jansons als Chefdirigenten erlebt hatte, sagte rückblickend über Kubelík: „Er war der souveränste, gelösteste Mensch, den wir als Chefdirigent hatten.“[26]

Rafael Kubelík ist ein Großonkel des Geigers René Kubelík,[27] der seit 1999 der Südwestdeutschen Philharmonie Konstanz als stellvertretender 1. Konzertmeister angehört[28] und im Jahr 2002 ein Klaviertrio mit dem Namen New Kubelík Trio gründete.[27]



  • Rafael Kubelik. Bilder aus dem Leben eines Musikers. BRD 1972, Regie: Jörn Thiel. Video bei YouTube (54:49 Min.).
  • Rafael Kubelik. Music is my Country. Deutschland 2003, Regie: Reiner E. Moritz. Video bei YouTube (59:05 Min.). Ausschnitte bei (3:21 Min.).



  1. a b c d e Rafael Kubelík (Conductor) (englisch)
  2. a b c Czech Conductor Rafael Kubelik ABC Classic, 6. Juli 2021.
  3. a b Obituaries: Rafael Kubelik Nachruf in The Independent, 12. August 1996.
  4. a b Geschichte des Orchesters
  5. Geschichte, siehe 1960–1969.
  6. Geschichte, siehe 1980–1989.
  7. Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, siehe Die Gesellschaft – Goldmedaille.
  8. Video des Eröffnungskonzerts am 12. Mai 1990 bei YouTube (1:30:55 Std.)
  9. 1961–1979: Rafael Kubelík
  10. a b c Biografie Kubelíks von Thierry Vagne (französischer Musikjournalist, Profil).
  11. Tribute to Rafael Kubelík, Part 2 Interview von Radio Prague International mit Kubelíks Sohn Martin, Mai 2014 (englisch).
  12. Gala Centennial Finale Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Artikel aus der Reihe 125 Moments.
  13. a b Lionel Salter: Artikel Kubelík, Rafael, Grove Music Online.
  14. a b c d Karl Schumann: Rafael Kubelik, in: fono forum 6/1965, S. 249 f.
  15. Kulturreferat der Stadt Augsburg (Hrsg.): Augsburger Kulturnachrichten, August 1972, S. 4.
  16. Rafael Kubelík: a Life in Pictures (englisch), siehe Text zu Bild 5.
  17. In der Biografie auf der Bach Cantatas Website werden davon abweichend „Komplikationen nach einer Operation“ als Todesursache angegeben.
  18. Erinnerungen von Elsie Morison an Kubelík (Ausschnitte aus dem Dokumentarfilm Music is my Country, englisch), Video auf YouTube (4:58) Min., hier 0:05 bis 0:23.
  19. Erinnerungen von Elsie Morison an Kubelík (Ausschnitte aus dem Dokumentarfilm Music is my Country, englisch), Video auf YouTube (4:58) Min., hier 1:35 bis 1:58.
  20. Erinnerungen von Elsie Morison an Kubelík (Ausschnitte aus dem Dokumentarfilm Music is my Country, englisch), Video auf YouTube (4:58) Min., hier 2:00 bis 0:24.
  21. Erinnerungen von Elsie Morison an Kubelík (Ausschnitte aus dem Dokumentarfilm Music is my Country, englisch), Video auf YouTube (4:58) Min., hier 3:19 bis 3:45.
  22. Tribute to Rafael Kubelík, Part 1 Interview von Radio Prague International mit Kubelíks Sohn Martin, Mai 2014 (englisch).
  23. Erinnerungen von Elsie Morison an Kubelík (Ausschnitte aus dem Dokumentarfilm Music is my Country, englisch), Video auf YouTube (4:58) Min., hier 2:33 bis 3:15.
  24. The Jan Kubelík Society, 2021.
  25. Konzertmeister Florian Sonnleitner: „Das Publikum hörte nicht mehr auf zu klatschen!“, 25. Juni 2014 (Video, 1:00 Min.).
  26. Der Konzertmeister Florian Sonnleitner im Gespräch, 17. Januar 2018 (Video, 6:58 Min.), hier 4:51 bis 4:58.
  27. a b Lebenslauf
  28. Orchestermitglieder, abgerufen am 4. November 2021.
  29. Rezension von Kathrin Feldmann in Das Orchester, 02/2007, S. 78.


Es gibt noch keine Bewertungen.

Nur angemeldete Kunden, die dieses Produkt gekauft haben, dürfen eine Bewertung abgeben.