Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures At An Exhibition (1971/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures At An Exhibition (1971/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 37:58 minutes | 771 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd.
Recorded: 26 March 1971,Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Much was made of early prog-rock’s fusion of rock with classical music, but ELP was one of the only bands to take that task seriously, and never more so than on „Pictures At An Exhibition“. The well-known Mussorgsky piece is a staple of the classical music diet, and a prime example of “program music,” where related sections of a piece combine to tell a story. True to the spirit of the times, ELP attacked “Pictures” with both classically trained respect and rocker irreverence. The album, recorded live in 1971, finds the band turning Mussorgsky’s work inside out, not just restructuring it but reinventing it for their rock audience.

While sections like “Promenade” and The Hut of Baba Yaga” are essentially electrified, rocked-up versions of the original melodies, the band injects plenty of their own original (but not unrelated) motifs into the piece, including Greg Lake’s moody ballad “The Sage” and the self-explanatory “Blues Variation.” ELP is to be commended as much for its brash ambition as for its achievement in attempting a Moog-ified revamping of such a well established piece as „Pictures At An Exhibition“.

One of the seminal documents of the progressive rock era, a record that made its way into the collections of millions of high-school kids who never heard of Modest Mussorgsky and knew nothing of Russia’s Nationalist “Five.” It does some violence to Mussorgsky, but Pictures at an Exhibition is also the most energetic and well-realized live release in Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s catalog, and it makes a fairly compelling case for adapting classical pieces in this way. At the time, it introduced “classical rock” to millions of listeners, including the classical community, most of whose members regarded this record as something akin to an armed assault. The early-’70s live sound is a little crude by today’s standards, but the tightness of the playing (Carl Palmer is especially good) makes up for any sonic inadequacies. Keith Emerson is the dominant musical personality here, but Greg Lake and Palmer get the spotlight enough to prevent it from being a pure keyboard showcase. —AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

1 Promenade Pt. 1 01:56
2 The Gnome 04:16
3 Promenade Pt. 2 01:23
4 The Sage 04:40
5 The Old Castle 02:31
6 Blues Variation 04:19
7 Promenade Pt. 3 01:28
8 The Hut of Baba Yaga Pt. 1 01:13
9 The Curse of Baba Yaga 04:08
10 The Hut of Baba Yaga Pt. 2 01:06
11 The Great Gates of Kiev 06:37
12 Nutrocker 04:21

Keith Emerson – pipe organ, Hammond (C3) and L100) organs, Moog modular synthesizer (ribbon controller), clavinet
Greg Lake – bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
Carl Palmer – drums, percussion