Penn Library

Leopold Stokowski:
Making Music Matter

Curated by Marjorie Hassen

Otto E. Albrecht Music Library
University of Pennsylvania

Pictures from an Exhibition

Stokowski introduced the Maurice Ravel orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky's piano suite to Philadelphia audiences in November 1929, and then chose to challenge Ravel's critically acclaimed rendering of the work with his own arrangement ten years later. Premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra on 17 November 1939, the Stokowski-Mussorgsky version of Pictures from an Exhibition was recorded for RCA Victor the following week. Stokowski subsequently recorded the work two more times: with the All American Youth Orchestra in 1941 and the New Philharmonia Orchestra in 1965, but his score would not see publication until 1971.

Modest Mussorgsky
Pictures from an Exhibition, "Promenade"

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Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra
Recorded 27 November 1939,
Academy of Music, Philadelphia

Copyist's pre-publication score, marked for performance by Leopold Stokowski

First Page

Page 16

The score exhibited here likely dates from the early 1960s. It includes numerous markings indicating revisions to orchestration, tempo, and dynamics, many of which are detailed in a 1963 letter from Stokowski to his copyist, George Newman. All of the changes conveyed to Newman are incorporated in the 1971 published edition, however Stokowski's score includes yet another layer of revisions that are not reflected there. A typical example is visible at the bottom of page 16 in the image above, where Stokowski has crossed out the "accelerando" indication in red pencil and has written in blue ink "in tempo (Largo) non accel." This revision--one of many--post-dates the published score.

Leopold Stokowski
Letter to George Newman
18 November 1963

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