For Viktor: The story of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Robert Philip Bolton


This short, entertaining book, based on fact, is written in Modest Mussorgsky’s own voice as he guides a young companion around the picture exhibition held in honour of his friend Viktor Hartman at the Academy of Artists in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1874. It was this exhibition which inspired Mussorgsky to write the suite of music he called ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’.

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The book is written to be read in time with the playing of the music, preferably the original piano version. While reading the text the reader will find that the duration of each section — including each of the promenades — is about the same as the musical piece it describes. Indeed, important events in the narrative often intersect with appropriate moments in the music to bring the unseen pictures to life.
It is a unique meeting of art, music and literature.

Endorsed and supported by Vladimir Ashkenazy
Accordingly, ‘For Viktor’ has received the personal endorsement of the celebrated Russian concert pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Maestro Ashkenazy is a recognised expert on Russian music. He has recorded ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ twice and has created his own orchestration of the suite which he has recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as conducting its performance with other orchestras all over the world.


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