You can't go wrong with Ravel's arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a bold and colorful composition based on a number of paintings by Viktor Hartmann, whose sudden death at the age of 39 shocked the Russian art world in the 1870s. Everybody always talks about the piano in this composition, but for me, it's all about the brass. The last four minutes of this thing make you feel like you're a golden eagle soaring through the golden heavens with a golden fish in your golden talons, screaming about the eternal strength and perseverance of the mother country or whatever. Meanwhile, Daniel Müller-Schott, who the New York Times called "a magnetic young German cellist," will stop by to play Dvořák's fantastic Cello Concerto. Not to be missed.
by Rich Smith
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