When Russian painter Victor Hartman died young, in its day his death shocked people as much as the death of Heath Ledger or River Phoenix. And it shocked his friend, composer Modest Mussorgsky. If you've seen Fantasia, you know Mussorgsky. His Night on Bald Mountain was combined with images of the Russian god Czernobog to create a welcoming dark fantasy in the finale. Often packaged with Bald Mountain, his equally famous composition Pictures at an Exhibition takes you on a tour of Hartman's paintings. Inspired by, and written to, the art from Hartman's memorial exhibition, it's a collection of musical sketches drawing you from one scene to the next, a bit like The Nutcracker. It's this collection of pieces which is next up for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, featuring conductor Pinchas Steinberg and piano soloist Ingrid Fliter.
Alongside Ravel's arrangement of Pictures, the orchestra will also be summoning the imagery of the light and tragic Tasso, Lament and Triumph by Liszt (who was otherwise famous) and the lively cascades of Schumann's Piano Concerto. If you want an evening of spry piano, taut strings and musical imagery, then the Opera House's Concert Hall is your picture place to be.
Original painting of the Great Gate at Kiev by Victor Hartmann.