Kahchun Wong conductor
Jess Gillam saxophone
John Harles Briggflatts
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel)
Superstar saxophonist Jess Gillam performs John Harle’s Briggflatts, a saxophone concerto with three movements, ‘Flares’; ‘Garsdale’ and ‘Rant!’ and is based on an autobiographical poem by Basil Bunting of the same name.
Pictures at an Exhibition is arguably one of Mussorgsky’s most well-known compositions. Originally written as a piece for solo piano, the orchestral arrangement by Ravel, as performed here, is by far the most regularly heard. Mussorgsky wrote the piece in tribute to his friend, artist Vladimir Hartmann, who died at the peak of his career, age just 39, and the music was written to capture in music and accompany an exhibition displaying Hartmann’s work. When composing the piece, he wrote, ‘ideas, melodies come to me of their own accord, like a banquet of music … I can hardly manage to put them down on paper fast enough.’