The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Conner Prairie Living History Park team up each summer to present Marsh Symphony on the Prairie. This seasonal tradition features classical music in the warm summer air an evening perfect for romance and family togetherness. Friday, June 19, 2010 marks this season’s first Symphony on the Prairie as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performs “Pictures at an Exhibition.” This Indianapolis music event mixes outdoor concerts with a beautiful landscape in a relaxing setting.
Krzysztof Urbanski conducts the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra through Modest Petrovish Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” in addition to Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture,” Smetana’s “The Moldau” and Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” was composed for piano in 1874. A famous suite in ten movements, the piece offers a promenade through the art galleries of a great museum. Mussorgsky garnered inspiration from different paintings for each musical selection.
Mussorgsky met architect Viktor Hartmann in 1870. The two men shared a love of Russian art, which formed the basis for a very strong friendship. When Hartmann died suddenly in 1873, Mussorgsky and the Russian art world were shaken to the core. When a mutual friend organized a memorial exhibition of 400 of Hartmann’s works of art, Mussorgsky lent many works of his own personal collection. Hartmann’s exhibition truly inspired the composer. In an effort to deal with his grief, Mussorgsky composed “Pictures at an Exhibition” in only six weeks based on his experience of Hartmann’s memorial exhibit.
The piece depicts an imaginary tour of an art collection. Certain titles of individual movements even allude to works by Hartmann. He has even been quoted saying, “Hartmann is seething as Boris was. Sounds and ideas float in the air and my scribbling hand can hardly keep pace with them.” Though most of Hartmann’s drawings and watercolors done during his travels abroad have unfortunately been lost, Mussorgsky’s music immortalizes his friendship and their shared passion for Russian art.
Mussorgsky’s organization of his music offers an impressive and imaginative musical experience. He links the suite’s movements in a way that depicts the viewer’s own progress through the exhibition. Two “Promenade” pieces act as portals to the composition’s main event. A regular pace and irregular meter gives the illusion of walking. Mussorgsky brilliantly brings color, texture and line to vibrant life as he illustrates art through music. Though many have tried to imitate the idea, none have been as successful as this famous Russian composer.
Don’t miss the first of Marsh Symphony on the Prairie this Saturday, June 19, 2010 at Conner Prairie Living History Park in Fishers, Indiana. This Indianapolis museum offers a perfect spot for picnic-ing. While you are there, take a flight on the 1859 Balloon Voyage. Float 350 feet above the symphony before or during the show. Make a day of it; arrive early and explore Indianapolis history as it comes to life at Conner Prairie.
Tickets to this Indianapolis event are $21.00 for adults ($26.00 at the gate), $10.00 per Indianapolis kids ages two to twelve ($12.00 at the gate). Don’t miss an exciting Indianapolis performing arts event. After the concert, treat yourself to drinks at any of these Indianapolis restaurants or Indianapolis bars.
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Marsh Symphony on the Prairie
Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm
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