Theme from Pictures at an Exhibition “The Oxcart” (Mussorgsky)

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This theme from Pictures at an Exhibition convincingly evokes the image of a hard working farm animal!

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Description

Pictures at an Exhibition (Russian: Картинки с выставки – Воспоминание о Викторе Гартмане, ‘Pictures from an Exhibition – A Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann’, French: Tableaux d’une exposition) is a suite of ten piano pieces plus a recurring, varied Promenade) composed for piano by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1874.

The suite is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has become further known through various orchestrations and arrangements, with Maurice Ravel’s arrangement being by far the most recorded and performed.

This arrangement of the second piece from the suite, named Bydło ( Polish for “The Oxcart” or “Cattle”), has been transposed to A minor, but, like The Old Castle, it retains much of the spirit of the original.

Key: A minor

Mood: somber, tired

Pedagogy: left hand ostinato, phrasing, dynamics

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