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Pictures at an Exhibition

A very special disc, featuring Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Liszt's 'Two Legends' and Debussy's less commonly played 'Masques', 'd'un cahier d'esquisses' as well as the well known 'L'isle joyeuse'.

Critical acclaim welcomed Stephen Savage's last major CD release, where he performed the final three sonatas by Beethoven. Now this distinguished Australian pianist, in his first release for Move Records, plays the Pictures at an Exhibition by Moussorgsky, coupled with pieces by Liszt and Debussy which also explore music inspired by pictures.

It was recorded in the magnificent acoustic of the Theatre of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, in Brisbane. Great care was taken to achieve a colourful and atmospheric sound and capture the full tonal impact of these brilliant works. In his liner notes, Stephen Savage likens this process to that of a successful hanging and lighting of pictures in a gallery, and finding the best place to view them. The result is a recording of unusual depth and beauty of sound.


Stephen Savage

Stephen Savage has been associated with the teaching programmes of the Australian National Academy since its inception, and performs and teaches overseas frequently and extensively, travelling particularly to the UK and to many places in Asia.

Press quotes

“Right from the moment Mussorgsky's spectacular strides purposefully into the art gallery we are hearing the music with fresh ears. . . At every turn there are suprises and Savage schieves them not with wild exaggeration, but by playing movements just a little faster, slower or straighter than usual, and finding a chord to delay here and a phrase to pull back there. His Liszt is good, too, and his Debussy better still.”

— Andrew Ford , Limelight

“Savage's reading stays true to the original as he revels in Mussorgsky's idiomatic and idiosyncratic piano writing ... Savage outlines the first two pieces with elegant clarity and a sparkling purpose and L'isle Joyeuse is eloquently spirited.”

— Gillian Wills, 2MBS Fine Music

“Stephen Savage confirms his reputation as an authoritative, even magisterial interpreter, bringing characteristic luminosity and uncommon intelligence to works often glossified as showpieces for digital pyrotechnics. Keyboard aficionados will relish the splashy splendour of the two St Francis Legends by Liszt and the uncommon muscularity of three Debussy pieces. The glorious acoustic of the Conservatorium Theatre and Savage's insightful notes in the accompanying booklet place this CD on the top of the pack”

— Vincent Plush, The Weekend Australian

Audio previews

Track Listing

    Pictures at an Exhibition Modest Mussorgsky

  1. Promenade 1:24
  2. Gnomus (The Gnome) 2:38
  3. Promenade :51
  4. Il Vecchio Castello (The old castle) 4:29
  5. Promenade :29
  6. Tuileries (Children's quarrelling at play) 1:09
  7. Bydlo 2:56
  8. Promenade :40
  9. Ballet of unhatched chicks 1:06
  10. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle 2:02
  11. Promenade 1:20
  12. Limoges (The market place) 1:31
  13. Catacombs (A Roman Sepulchre) 1:30
  14. Con mortuis in lingua mortua 1:39
  15. The hut on hen's legs (Baba Yaga) 3:34
  16. The Great Gate of Kiev 5:31
  17. Two Legends Franz Liszt

  18. St. Francis of Assissi preaching to the birds 10:06
  19. St. Francis of Paola walking on the water 9:10
  20. Masques Claude Debussy 5:27
  21. … d'un cahier d'esquisses ... Claude Debussy 4:30
  22. L'isle joyeuse Claude Debussy 5:50



Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839 - 1881) was a Russian composer, one of the group known as "The Five". He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music.

Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt (1811–1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School").

Claude Debussy

Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions.

Where to buy

Pictures at an Exhibition is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Apple Music.

Pictures at an Exhibition is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Total playing time
67 minutes 52 seconds
Stephen Savage
David Spearritt
David Starr
David Spearritt
David Spearritt
Theatre Queensland Conservatorium
Release date
© 2004 Stephen Savage
℗ 2004 Stephen Savage
Classical, Keyboard
Catalogue number
MD 3290
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574329025