Philippe Béran, conductor and presentation
OSR and Orchestre du Collège de Genève
Although the artist Viktor Hartmann really did exist and an exhibition of his works did actually took place, the genius of Mussorgsky was in his ability to transcend the reality of Hartmann’s rather modest output, in order to produce an imaginary landscape of such incredible strength. His Pictures at an Exhibition are not faithful to the works that they purport to represent, yet through their evocative power, they pay vibrant homage to the composer's late friend. Such a work calls for orchestral colours, and some two dozen composers have made their own version of it. Ravel, a great admirer of Mussorgsky, stands out from the rest; his masterly orchestration adds his own genius to that of the Russian composer.