Mussorgsky Mondays – Tomita’s Pictures at an Exhibition


I was recently made aware that in the mid 1970’s, not only did Emerson, Lake and Palmer recreate Mussorgsky’s great work, Pictures at an Exhibition, but on the other side of the globe in Japan, another artist was doing his own version. In 1975, Isao Tomita, renowned pioneer of electronic synthesizer music, took the original piano composition and created an all electronic version of the piece. It definitely has the sound of the 70’s / 80’s synthesizer, but at the time this was groundbreaking work. Definitely worth a listen, as some of his decisions for the appropriate sounds for various parts of this masterpiece are as interesting in their own way as Ravel’s choice of instrumentation when he brought Pictures from the piano to a full orchestra. Check out this link to Tomita’s full recording on YouTube. And to learn a little bit more about Isao Tomita, check out this link to his Wikipedia page.

Can’t believe I’d never heard this before tonight!


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