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Jessica Duchen
Thursday 2nd December 2010
The Great Gate of Kiev, by Kandinsky
Tableaux d'une exposition Grande porte de Kiev

I made it to Paris and back, despite snow, to see a mesmerising world premiere. JDCMB favourite Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy, one of the more inquisitive and creative types on the piano circuit, discovered that in 1928 the ever-musical artist Wassily Kandinsky had been commissioned to design a theatrical version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Some watercolours, drawings and detailed instructions survived (above, The Great Gate of Kiev, complete with Kandinsky's annotations) and Micha decided to rework them with the help of an expert animation company into a new vision for a new century. They screened the results for the first time on Tuesday night and he performed the music live together with it. Kandinsky's paintings came to life and danced... If Kandinsky had designed Fantasia it might have looked something like this: a 1920s fairytale, cool, ironic, fun and satisfying. I hope it'll run and run. I'm writing more about the evening in a new year edition of International Piano magazine.

Update: more about Kandinsky and music here...



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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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