(Excerpts from NPR): August 21, 2009: Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has teamed up with South African visual artist Robin Rhode to reframe Modest Mussorgsky’s famous suite for solo piano, Pictures at an Exhibition. When Andsnes performs the world premiere of Pictures at an Exhibition at New York’s Lincoln Center in November, he will share the stage with seven video screens, showing images created by Rhode.
Mussorgsky’s Pictures, composed in 1874, is a promenade through a gallery; it stops at the pictures of Viktor Hartmann, an artist and architect — and a friend of Mussorgsky’s who died young. The exhibition was a memorial to Hartmann, with each movement inspired by and named for a picture.
“It’s unbelievable that it was written in 1870; it’s such a modern concept,” Andsnes says. “It’s also a piece of theater. It has this narrative of a person walking into this exhibition space, and you almost hear his reaction to what he has seen. So, emotionally it is very strong.”