Curator Melissa Wolfe talks about the inspiration we can all take away from the Columbus Museum of Arts newest exhibition showcasing the work of home town hero George Bellows. George Bellows and the American Experience through January 4, 2014. This exhibition follows on the heels of a major retrospective of the artist organized by the [...]
Different Paths to Night on Bald Mountain
Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, the resident staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about Modest Mussorgsky‘s Night on Bald Mountain. There are various versions of this piece, including Mussorgsky’s seldom-performed 1867 version and a 1886 “fantasy for orchestra” arranged by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Like many of Mussorgsky’s works, the piece was completed by another artist.
Highlights From This Interview:
Boyce: “I would wonder if (Mussorgsky’s) predilection for getting into the bottom of a bottle made some of the things he wrote a little bit difficult to deal with.”
Albert-George: “On some level it’s true. Mussorgsky’s art as a composer was a bit more elemental and less refined.”
Albert-George: “I tried to do once Mussorgsky’s original Night on Bald Mountain, and it just didn’t work. I had to really work hard to make the work speak. I had to adjust balances, I had to do all kinds of things.”
Albert-George: “You forget that we always do the Rimsky-Korsakov version of that. And there’s a reason for that. Rimsky-Korsakov took it maybe too far, because he re-composed some of the stuff, and added to it, to sort of help the piece. I still would go with Rimsky-Korsakov, although there is Claudio Abbado. I think he did a version that he really went the other way, the original Mussorgsky. And he really worked it. And it’s a very visceral, exciting performance to hear Mussorgsky’s own language in his own voice.”