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Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures

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Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures

Sunday, April 17, 2011 6:08 PM
Author: Miami University Libraries

I am playing the "Old Castle" solo in Pictures at an Exhibition with the Arkansas Symphony this weekend (yeh!) and the final statement has a portamento into the last note that I have never seen before. It is not in our excerpts book, nor was it in the edition used when I played it 6 years ago. We are using the Boosey & Hawkes 2002 edition and evidently there are several other minor changes. I wasn't sure whether to perform it or not, but the conductor wants it, so I will. Does anyone else have an explanation or experience with this? Thanks for replying, Jackie Lamar


Sunday, April 17, 2011 7:23 PM
Author: Not Found

Jackie, I actually have the part in my briefcase right now, as the Greenville Symphony is doing Pictures in two weeks. They are using the 1929 Russicher Musikverlag G. M. B. H. Berlin edition, and there is no portamento in sight. It looks like a bad photocopy of the original publication -- it is pretty grainy, and there is a mark that looks like it could possibly be someone's pencil mark for a portamento that got photocopied down the line, but it is clearly not something that was in the part originally. There are some other similarly vague marks on either side of the dynamic marking at that point, but, again it looks like a photocopy of someone's pencil marks. Personally I've played it 4-5 times with various orchestras/conductors, and never been asked to do it that way. I would be very reluctant to do it, though I empathize with your dilemma. Cliff

Sunday, April 17, 2011 7:52 PM
Author: Not Found

Hi Jackie, Asheville Symphony is also playing this next month, and we're using the new Boosey printing as well. Our conductor was as surprised as I was to see the portamento; we're not doing it, and, as above, just assumed it was a copyist error. I don't know if there might be a reason for its presence beyond that, but it doesn't make any sense to do it looking at the piano score, and neither the Rimski/Tushmalov or the Stokowski versions have a portamento, either. Best of luck, Ian Jeffress

To Portamento or not?
Monday, April 18, 2011 1:50 PM
Author: Miami University Libraries

Well, The ASO conductor wanted the portamento, so I did one, just didn't make a big deal of it. That is an interesting dilemma. I wonder how it got added. Thanks for the input. Jackie

Monday, April 18, 2011 10:40 PM
Author: Nessyah Buder

Very strange. I don't think I've ever heard a performance of "Pictures..." with a portamento at the end of that movement. I just played this with the Lincoln Symphony about a month ago and didn't see anything like that printed or written in the part.

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