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Michael Briel re-arranging Modeste Mussorgsky - The complete 16bit pictures at an exhibition

This one goes *way* back - to 1988 or so, actually. The "16bit pictures at an exhibition' is what will happen if you let a student alone with the piano notes to Modeste Mussorgsky's classic masterworkand and a 4 audio-channel homecomputer, the Commodore Amiga, for too long. ;)

The idea was to create an own electronic version of this classic music without copying the previous electronic arrangement by Tomita - which was not that hard, given the completely different quality and level of the hardware involved: The Commodore Amiga had only four voices, not allowing for a 1:1 adaptation of all the tunes and chords, so some major cutting had to be done there. Also the software I used back then was pretty basic as well, for example not allowing for such simple thing as in-tune-tempo-changes, also a big minus when working with classic music.

On the other side the Amiga with Sonix running allowed for the use of samples as well as a nice little own synthesizer, enabling me to give my version it's very own little atmosphere and style (including, for example, samples from Front242 or Invincible Spirit in Baba Yaga).

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Better quality file?

I love this recording to death. It's one of the best pieces of electronic music I've ever heard. It's because of this that I ask if there exists a higher quality version than 128 kbps mp3. Not that the low quality file doesn't lend a nice charm in itself, I'm just wondering if such a thing exists.

Nope, that's all I have

Thanks for the feedback! :) But sorry, this mp3 recording is pretty much all I've got left of my version of the pictures at an exhibition. :-/

Buuuuut consider that the Amiga itself wasn't that much of a high quality sound source, especially not with the software - Aegis Sonix - I used to do this, I don't think that you really miss anything much because of the mp3 compression.

cheers - Michael

Pictures at an Exhibition

I really enjoyed this. Promenade was one of the first pieces I learned in college. The sound of the old Commodore computer is great!


Getting positive feedback is always a nice thing - but getting positive feedback from someone who did something that I in return have the highest respect for... I feel honoured! :D

For me the Pictures at an Exhibition have a special meaning too: Apart from just being a beautiful piece of music it was Tomita's version of them that our school's (the "Rhein Gymnasium, Sinzig") music teacher who also ran it's choir - Herr Schluchtmann (who sadly has died a few years ago) - used to introduce us to the back then still pretty new instrument named synthesizer. He was nice enough to record the whole LP on to cassette tape for me when I asked him - together with Kraftwerk's Mensch Maschine and Jean Michael Jarre's Oxygene this cassette became one of the very first recordings of electronic music in my possession.

I got the piano notes for the "pictures" from another student at our school back later and was pretty proud to be able to present Herr Schluchtmann with a cassette containing *my* version of it. :)

Oh - and I was in my school's choir too! In the beginning I was in the contralto section, later - after my voice broke - I moved over to the bass section. :)

Here's what joinchoir's kids did to impress me that much:

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