Prodigious Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi tackles one of the masterworks of the solo piano repertoire: Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Pictures at an Exhibition was composed as a tribute to one of Mussorgsky’s close friends, the painter Victor Hartmann, in the wake of his tragic and untimely death. Musical interpretations of the paintings at an exhibition held in Hartmann’s memory are interspersed by five Promenades, in which Mussorgsky portrays himself moving from picture to picture. The narrative of the work encompasses richly vivid, imaginative and varied musical depictions of the paintings, from ‘Tuileries’ – in which we hear children chattering and fighting in a Parisian garden – to a depiction of a crude Polish farm wagon (‘Bydlo’) to the quicksilver ‘Ballet of the Chicks in their Shells’.
“When I was asked by ABC to record this work, I could scarcely wait to sink my teeth into it. Like any iconic piece, it traverses the centuries and transfixes us with its pertinence to the struggles, conflicts and fixations we face today.” – Simon Tedeschi
Pictures at an Exhibition is accompanied on this album by the surprising, delightful and innocent Album for the Young by Tchaikovsky.
Simon Tedeschi has performed in major concert halls throughout Australia, Europe, North America and Asia, and for world leaders including George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama. His wide-ranging discography includes acclaimed recordings of concertos by Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Mozart, and solo albums Gershwin and Me, Gershwin: Take Two, and Tender Earth. He also played the hands of acclaimed pianist David Helfgott for the Oscar-winning film Shine.
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Modest Mussorgsky 1839–1881 Pictures At An Exhibition - Promenade I. Gnomus (gnome) Promenade Ii. Il Vecchio Castello (the Old Castle) Ii. Il Vecchio Castello (the Old Castle) Iii. Tuileries: Dispute D’enfants Après Jeux (children Quarrelling After Play) Iv. Bydlo (oxen) Promenade V. Ballet Of The Chicks In Their Shells . Vi. Samuel Goldenberg Und Schmuyle . Promenade Vii. Limoges: Le Marché (the Market Place) Viii. Catacombae: Sepulchrum Romanum (catacombs: Roman Tombs) Con Mortuis In Lingua Mortua (with The Dead In A Dead Language) Ix. The Hut On Hen’s Legs (baba-Yaga) X. Bogatyr Gate (the Great Gate Of Kiev)
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky 1840–1893 - Album For The Young, Op. 39
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“Tedeschi… justifiably lauded as one of Australia’s finest [pianists], has stamped his mark on this much-loved and evocative masterpiece…
Coming so close on the heels of Scottish pianist Steven Osborne’s multi-award-winning recording with Hyperion in 2013, comparisons are inevitable. But whereas Osborne’s reading is brisk and brilliant, for me, Tedeschi’s more measured approach plumbs the emotional depths and finds the quirks and eccentricities of Mussorgsky’s subjects… giving us a more human interpretation.”
- Limelight, December 2015
“an athlete of a pianist… Mussorgsky’s iconic work demands equal quantities of physical strength and artistic subtlety, a combination Australia’s Simon Tedeschi demonstrates with masterful balance… Tedeschi manages to fully encompass a work that almost seems too big for its instrument.”