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Pictures at an Exhibition Hardcover – February 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-From the author and illustrator team of The Farewell Symphony (Charlesbridge, 2000) comes a new gem for music lovers. Celenza brings to life three Russian friends-composer Modest Mussorgsky, architect Victor Hartmann, and art critic Vladimir Stasov. When Hartmann dies, Mussorgsky is plunged into despair and cannot create music. Concerned about him, Stasov prods him into attending a posthumous exhibit of Victor's artwork. The paintings inspire the composer's musical tribute to his friend, "Pictures at an Exhibition." The story is based on many primary-source documents-correspondence, an autobiographical essay, and an obituary-but Celenza weaves in a depth of emotion that makes these individuals' lives unforgettable. This same attention to detail is evident in Kitchel's illustrations; not only does the artist capture the energy and movement of the music in her vibrant watercolor-and-ink illustrations, but she also confines them within symbolic borders of traditional Russian and Ukrainian folk-art motifs. They harmonize well with the accompanying CD recording that includes both piano and orchestral versions of Mussorgsky's famous composition.
Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Anna Harwell Celenza is a musicologist and the author of several books for adults and children regarding music history and the history of art. Her children’s books include THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY, PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, GERSHWIN'S RHAPSODY IN BLUE, and VIVALDI'S FOUR SEASONS. Anna lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge; Rei/Com edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570914923
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570914928
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anna Harwell Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several scholarly books - the most recent being Hans Christian Andersen and Music: The Nightingale Revealed (2005). In addition to her scholarly work, she has authored a series of award-winning children's books with Charlesbridge Publishing: The Farewell Symphony (2000), Pictures at an Exhibition (2003), The Heroic Symphony (2004), Bach's Goldberg Variations (2005), Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (2006), Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite (2011), Vivaldi's Four Seasons (2012) and Saint Saen's Danse macabre (2013). Her work has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including NPR's "Performance Today," the BBC's "Music Matters" and "Proms Broadcasts," and C-Span's "Book-TV".

Customer Reviews

The paperback version does NOT come with the CD.
S. Jones
Look beyond the cover presentation here and find a carefully drawn path to the essence of a wonderful piece of music....regardless of your age.
Charles M. Herbek
What a great gift to give any child; the love of music!
mom2two

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy Chen ( Chao Chin Chen ) on June 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful picture book which brings true story, art and music together I have ever read. They harmonize well. Reading this book with the accompanying Mussorgsky's music is one of my greatest enjoyment,especially when in late afternoon. I highly recommend this book to the students who now are learning art or music but do not have much time for reading. It is a good opportunity for them to get started from it and will bring in something for them.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mom2two on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is yet another treasure in this series for children. The vivid illustrations are so beautiful and they complete the story well. The author gives a good accounting of the story here, without going too far into the details that would be unpleasant for young children. This story is full of passion and the music CD that accompanies it is wonderful. My children love this series and beg to listen to the music from each book. What a great gift to give any child; the love of music! I love that my young children know the stories behind great compositions and enjoy listening to them. I have learned a thing or two from reading these books as well! Definitely worth five stars!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By First girl on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pictures at an Exhibition I liked the book very much, as well as the colorful illustrations. I bought it for my elementary school students. Most third graders could stay with the story without more pictures breaking up the text. (I wouldn't recommend going lower.) My main disapppointment was with the accompanying CD. It was a recording of the piano music, all good and well, but there was only one band so hearing the different musical "picures" was difficult. My students cannot stay focused on a thirty-minute piece. I purchased an orchestral recording (on it each section had a separate band) for my students to hear much of the music. Other than this, I would recommend the book highly. I'd give it a FIVE if the piano recording had the bands separating the selections.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By doitacappella on May 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
A great book about music and friendship. Excellent. Be warned that the composer's friend dies - It is handled delicately, but wanted you to know.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
The paperback version does NOT come with the CD. I returned my paperback copy that was missing the CD and Amazon sent me another paperback copy with NO CD... DO NOT buy the paperback if you want the CD!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kim S. Gustafson on October 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a home schooling mom I'm always looking for new things that will interest my 3 & 5 year old. The story and illustrations are great and the CD is just the cherry on top! I think we've read and listened to the book at least 10 times since we got it a month ago.
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