My obsession of collecting the many various "versions" of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" is at last satisfied with the release of this orchestration by Sir Henry Wood. In the bargain, there are several other orchestrations by this master, which should substantially stimulate the curiosity of music lovers. Wood's orchestration appeared some time before Ravel's and was performed by Wood on a number of occasions, but for some odd reason (inferiority complex?) he withdrew it with the appearance of the Ravel version. How does it compare? Actually, it is similar in many respects, and it is surprising to what extent Wood anticipates Ravel. So what's different? First of all, the Promenade theme is presented only once at the beginning. All the other selections are included. The big surprise comes toward the end: the big buildup to "the Great Gate at Kiev" is missing, replaced by the ominous sounds of deep-throated "mushroom bells" followed by the sudden explosive "Great Gate" theme. Wood loves his percussion, and makes dramatic use of it here and in all of the other selections as well. Take, for example, his version of Debussy's "Engulfed Cathedral," with clanging bells and other devices which exceed anything Debussy might have done. Chopin's "Funeral March" is bone-crushing and very heavy-handed orchestrally, but wow, does it ever take your breath away! (Is there a latent joke of some sort hidden here?) But for another surprise, the album opens with Wood's version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, which far outstrips Stokowski in its use of . . . percussion. Only one other orchestration matches this one, and that is the one by Scrowachevski (Sp?), released on Chandos ("Bach Orchestrations" by famous conductors; Slatkin and the BBC). This too is a "must have," for folks like me who enjoy this sort of thing.