Pictures at an Exhibition


Friday 24 March 2023, 7.30pm

Perth Concert Hall

West Australian Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and Elders of Country throughout Western Australia, and the Whadjuk Noongar people on whose lands we work and share music.

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Pictures at an Exhibition

Roger SMALLEY Diptych (Homage to Brian Blanchflower) (18 mins)

Particle Madness

La mer (23 mins)

De l’aube à midi sur la mer (From Dawn to Noon on the Sea)
Jeux de vagues
(Play of Waves)
Dialogue du vent et de la mer
(Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea)

Interval (25 mins)

Modest MUSSORGSKY orch. Ravel
Pictures at an Exhibition (32 mins)

Promenade –
1. Gnomus
Promenade –

2. Il vecchio castello
(The Old Castle)
Promenade –

3. Tuileries. Dispute d’enfants après jeux
(Tuileries. Children quarrelling after play)
4. Bydło
Promenade –
5. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks
6. ‘Samuel’ Goldenberg und ‘Schmuÿle’
7. Limoges. Le marché. La grande nouvelle
(Limoges Market. The Big News) –
8. Catacombæ.
Sepulcrum romanum (Catacombs. A Roman Sepulchre) –
Con mortuis in lingua mortua
(With the Dead in a Dead Language)
9. The Hut on Hen’s Legs. Baba Yaga –
10. The Great Gate of Kiev

Umberto Clerici
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Western Australian Youth Orchestra

WASO & WAYO Side-by-Side partnership supported by Woodside.

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This performance is recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic. For further details visit

Did you know?

The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) has several works by artist Brian Blanchflower in their collection. Roger Smalley was inspired to compose Diptych upon seeing a retrospective exhibition at AGWA of Blanchflower's works in 1990. You can see a Brian Blachflower work on display now at Perth Concert Hall; 'Canopy XIX - a space mythology' from the Wesfarmers Arts Collection.

Debussy expert Roy Howat has proposed that Debussy utilised the Golden Ratio in relation to time in La mer to create the greatest dramatic effect.

Ironically, when composing La mer, Debussy rarely spent time near the sea, choosing instead to draw inspiration from seascapes in painting and literature.

In 1873, Modest Mussorgsky was stunned by the sudden death of his friend, 39-year old artist Victor Hartmann. The following year, a mutual friend arranged a showing of over 400 of Hartmann’s watercolors, sketches, drawings and designs. Inspired by the exhibition and the memory of his friend, Mussorgsky composed a suite of piano pieces based on these pictures; Pictures at an Exhibition.

In 1868, Hartmann allegedly gave Mussorgsky two of the pictures that later formed the basis of Pictures at an Exhibition. Mussorgsky later lent the works to the post-humous exhibition.

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhbition has been orchestrated by at least 26 different composers, with Ravel's orchestration being the most widely performed today.

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