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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 8. May 27, 1953

"Pictures at an Exhibition"

"Pictures at an Exhibition"

Of interest to L.P. fans is a H.M.V. 10in disc—"Pictures at an Exhibition." by Moussorgsky, orchestrated by Ravel (B.L.P. 1002). The performance is by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rafael Kubclik. The recording is first-class, no scratching, though the tone of the trumpets is a little thin in places.

This is descriptive music at its best. The "blurb" on the cover states that when Victor Hartman died his friends arranged an exhibition of his pictures. Moussorgsky, one of his best friends, wrote this music around some of them. The recording begins with a "Promenade." a short movement of extremely rich musical texture. Then the visitor examines the different pictures such as "The Old Castle" or the "Gnome."

Especially notable, I thought, were 'The Two Polish Jews" and "The Catacombs." In the controversy whether music tells a story these two are powerful arguments for those who consider it does. The first has two different themes. One suave and dignified for the rich Jew, the other high-pitched and nervous, for his obsequious companion. In "The Catacombs" the brass and wood-wind are dominant, but the whole movement has a distinct atmosphere of depth and gloom.

The work was originally composed for solo piano, but listeners will enjoy this version for the added richness and variety which Ravel's orchestration imparts.

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There will be another concert by Maurice Clare and the Alex Lindsay Strings this coming Saturday. It is interesting to note that this violinist has been in Victoria College until a few weeks ago. With John Taylor, student who had been chosen to accompany him, Maurice Clare has recently completed a tour of the Auckland province. Judging from the contented expression John Taylor wears these days, music is not always a labour of love.

* * *

Lovers of sweet music will be pleased to hear that Stew Carpenter, who Is Bill Crowe's hottest trumpeter, has Joined up with another combination. The boys of the National Orchestra are reported to be somewhat revitalised by his presence among them. However, he is by no means lost to dance fans. If you're walking round Parliament Buildings on a quiet Sunday evening, you're certain to hear his "other music" licking if from the realms of the St. Francis Hall.

* * *

Last note: How does one become Champion Bassdrummer of New Zealand? Murray Scambury, drummer in the N.Z. band which has left for overseas, is just that. Any information on the subject would be gratefully received.

—D.D.