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Pictures at an Exhibition

Pictures at an Exhibition

Pictures at an Exhibition is a live album by the English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in November 1971 on Island Records. It is a recording of the band's arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, performed live at Newcastle City Hall on 26 March 1971. Keith Emerson wished to arrange the piece after seeing an orchestral performance of it several years before. He bought a copy of the score, and pitched the idea to Greg Lake and Carl Palmer, who agreed to adapt it.

Pictures at an Exhibition went to number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 10 on the US Billboard 200. In 2001, it was reissued as a remastered edition that included a studio version of the piece.

The band's arrangement of the suite uses only four of the original ten pieces in Mussorgsky's suite, along with the linking "Promenades". The suite was performed live as one continuous piece, with new, group-written sections linking Mussorgsky's original themes, specific track markings on pressings are only a guide. Mussorgsky's original compositions are listed in bold.

Promenade: Organ solo (instrumental, more information see above)
The Gnome: Group (instrumental)
Promenade: Hammond organ and vocal
(Interlude: short synthesizer solo, not a Mussorgsky piece)
The Sage: A new picture "drawn" by Lake in the mood of a medieval minnesang, works as sort of romantic prelude to "The Old Castle"
(Interlude: Moog-ribbon-controller-solo by Emerson, not a Mussorgsky piece)
The Old Castle: The full group performs a heavily accelerated adaptation of the original theme, leading directly into the next section
Blues Variation, a twelve-bar blues credited to the group, borrowing themes from both The Old Castle itself, and some of the ex tempore work that Emerson had previously performed with The Nice
Promenade: Group (instrumental)
The Hut of Baba Yaga: Group (instrumental)
The Curse of Baba Yaga is a new title to the middle section of the original piece. The music is again an adaption of the original piece, only the lyrics and vocal is completely new to the piece
The Hut of Baba Yaga: Group (instrumental)
The Great Gates of Kiev is also the last picture of Mussorgsky's piano-cycle, with vocals and lyrics added by the group. The piece features a refrain in the middle containing Hammond organ feedback.