Someone was recently inquiring about the piano score and the Ravel transcription and it got me to thinking about a snippet of a recording I heard late one night on a Texas college radio station back in 1985. Some phenomenal guitarist was playing the whole of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on a six-string classical guitar!
After a few years of trying to track this down, I finally learned the guitarist was Kazuhito Yamash[i]ta from Japan. Unfortunately, the studio recording I heard was either out of print or unavailable in the USA. So, I kept it in the back of my mind and, once the internet came along, I searched off and on but never came up with anything.
Well, lo and behold, there’s a home video made back in 1984 of the touring performance of this posted to YouTube within the last year. Though the live video/audio quality are not too good (some of the faster things are very muddled), I think one may yet come away fairly inspired. The technique, the passion, and the sheer variety of sound he gets out of his instrument are just amazing. By the way, this is his own transcription.
Promenade, Gnomes, Promenade, The Old Castle (first note only ),
Promenade, The Tuileries, Bydlo, Promenade, Ballet of the Little Chickens, Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle
A Market Place in Limoges, Catacombs, (and then for some reason, there’s an edit back to the beginning of the second set (!) and we have Promenade, The Tuileries, Bydlo, Promenade, & Ballet of the Little Chickens again )
Con Mortuis in Lingua Mortua, The Hut of Baba-Yaga, The Great Gate at Kiev