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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition/Night on Bald Mountain /Khovanschina: Prelude / Sorochintsy Fair: Gopak


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00005YX6C
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade
2. Pictures At An Exhibition: Gnomus
3. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade
4. Pictures At An Exhibition: Il vecchio castello
5. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade
6. Pictures At An Exhibition: Tuileries
7. Pictures At An Exhibition: Bydio
8. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade
9. Pictures At An Exhibition: Ballet des poussins dans leurs coques
10. Pictures At An Exhibition: Samuel Goldenberg und Schmuyle
11. Pictures At An Exhibition: Limoges: le marche
12. Pictures At An Exhibition: Catacombae
13. Pictures At An Exhibition: Cum mortuis in lingua mortua
14. Pictures At An Exhibition: Le Cabane sur des pattes de poule
15. Pictures At An Exhibition: La Grande Porte de Kiev
16. Prelude To Khovanschchina
17. Night On The Bare Mountain
18. Gopak from Sorochintsy Fair

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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 10 2004
Format: Audio CD
Hearing Valery Gergiev conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a live performance of Moussorgsky's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION has all the magic one could ever expect or want. Not only is Gergiev sensitive to the nuances in this Ravel orchestration of Moussorgsky's original work for piano, he manages to allow the individual 'images' along the promenade to breathe exactly the way an astute museum visitor might pause to absorb all the information in each painting. The breadth of the orchestral color here is captured with full range sonic technology, affirming the status of the Vienna Phil lush strings as being among the wonders of the music world. Individual solos are allowed to sing with the conductor collaborating: this orchestra must love playing for Gergiev! Some may quibble about tempo alterations in his interpretation, but to this listener those changes bring new vivid life to what was once a simple warhorse of early recording days. The accompanying works are well performed, especially the Prelude to Khovanshchina in Shostakovich's orchestration. This is a splendid addition to Gergiev's expanding recorded repertoire.
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Format: Audio CD
Gergiev and The Kirov Opera are renown for their recordings of rare Russian operas. Recently they have also started to make recordings of classic works. Some of these recordings have been extremely good (like The Rite of Spring, Sheherazade) but some have been dissapointments (Verdi's Requiem and The Pathetique). For this recording Gergiev has changed his orchestra from the Kirov to VPO, but still all the trademarks of Gergiev are present: the dark bass sound and extravagant brass playing. The change has also some benefits. Usually when the Kirov brass play loud they tend to have a strong vibrato, which the VPO brass manage to avoid without losing in intensity. This is a very exciting performance. The Great Port of Kiev is played like The Great Wall of China but I must agree with the other reviewer that Gergiev's tempo's sound a bit odd at times, especially at the end. This recording isn't mere impressive brass playing, but also very subtle. I can't remember ever hearing the Old Castle played as beautifully as on this disc. Gergiev truly knows how to phrase the movement.
Selection of the fillers could have been more imaginitive, but they are played so well that they don't seem like mere fillers. The Prelude to Khovanschina is played much better then on Gergiev's older recording with the Kirov. The VPO strings play magnificently. The performance of The Night on the Bare Mountain is very brutal and robust. I didn't appreciate this piece that much before, but Gergiev renders it into a true orchestral spectacular.
A must for all Gergiev fans and I think everyone, who loves The Pictures must at least here this recording.
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Format: Audio CD
Vaerly Gergiev leads the Vienna Philharmonic in an absorbing, dramatic performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", using the familiar Ravel orchestration. He successfully urges the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to opt for a level of playing which transcends Ravel's almost conventional orchestration, emphasizing sonority, without forsaking either technical brilliance or a firm understanding the score. Yet I concur with Amazon.com's reviewer that Gergiev makes some questionable decisions with regards to tempo and emphasizing the string section's exquisite playing over the others. Personally, a more satisfying modern recording is the classic Deutsche Grammophon version with Sinopoli conducting the New York Philharmonic, since he doesn't emphasize abrupt changes in tempi as much as Gergiev. But I am certain fans of both Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic won't be disappointed with this recording, which also features as excellent filler other works by Mussorgsky, most notably "Night On Bare Mountain".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Splendid! April 10 2004
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hearing Valery Gergiev conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a live performance of Moussorgsky's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION has all the magic one could ever expect or want. Not only is Gergiev sensitive to the nuances in this Ravel orchestration of Moussorgsky's original work for piano, he manages to allow the individual 'images' along the promenade to breathe exactly the way an astute museum visitor might pause to absorb all the information in each painting. The breadth of the orchestral color here is captured with full range sonic technology, affirming the status of the Vienna Phil lush strings as being among the wonders of the music world. Individual solos are allowed to sing with the conductor collaborating: this orchestra must love playing for Gergiev! Some may quibble about tempo alterations in his interpretation, but to this listener those changes bring new vivid life to what was once a simple warhorse of early recording days. The accompanying works are well performed, especially the Prelude to Khovanshchina in Shostakovich's orchestration. This is a splendid addition to Gergiev's expanding recorded repertoire.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Almost The Best Modern Recording Of "Pictures" Dec 29 2002
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Vaerly Gergiev leads the Vienna Philharmonic in an absorbing, dramatic performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", using the familiar Ravel orchestration. He successfully urges the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to opt for a level of playing which transcends Ravel's almost conventional orchestration, emphasizing sonority, without forsaking either technical brilliance or a firm understanding the score. Yet I concur with Amazon.com's reviewer that Gergiev makes some questionable decisions with regards to tempo and emphasizing the string section's exquisite playing over the others. Personally, a more satisfying modern recording is the classic Deutsche Grammophon version with Sinopoli conducting the New York Philharmonic, since he doesn't emphasize abrupt changes in tempi as much as Gergiev. But I am certain fans of both Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic won't be disappointed with this recording, which also features as excellent filler other works by Mussorgsky, most notably "Night On Bare Mountain".
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Clear, enunciated, using a large palette of sound Aug. 13 2006
By Kelly L. Norman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine Exhibition. From the very first Promenade, the brass has greater clarity, the tempo is a bit faster, and one can sense there is something special afoot. In "Gnomus", "Il vechhio castello", "Tuileries" and "Bydio", the sound is so low and moving, so earthy, I am reminded of Stravinski's "The Rite of Spring".

As "Bydio" goes from mezzo forte to fortissimo, clarity isn't lost; the recording is faithful to each instrument, percussion, brass, strings.

Gergiev is able to bring emotion out in each piece, while not being overly histrionic or clowning. "Ballet des poussins dans leurs coques" is lightly pleasant next to the stately mournful "Goldberg and Schmuyle", for example. The chef d'oeuvre, "The Great Gates of Kiev", shows an incredible range of timbre, something Gergiev excels at, with the booming fortissimos at the outset fading to pianissimos and growing again in the refrain to fortissimos. One can certainly envision oneself admiring the painting from bottom to top, sensing oneself as a tiny human being next to this awesome manmade wonder.

"Khovanschina" is a proud part of Gergiev's repertoire, and he clearly enjoys presenting the lovely prelude here. Vienna, as usual, gives him what he wants.

"Night on Bare Mountain" evokes a cold stormy night in a mountain forest. Effectively. Wear your parka.

"Gopak" is sprite and merry. A wonderful dance tune; Gergiev and Vienna do it justice.

Gergiev once mentioned how honored he was to have been asked to be a guest conductor for the Vienna Philharmonic, because the musicians in that orchestra choose their guest conductors. They seem to have chosen well in this case, and for Mossourgsky, it seems a good fit.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A majuscule artistic achievement Oct. 1 2010
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For better or worst, for the average classic listener, there have been pieces of this repertoire that have been played, used and abused as musical curtains or any other unthinkable event that you may imagine. Pieces such as Scheherezade, Night in the ballad mountain, Beethoven's ode to joy and Pictures at an exhibition that have produced (at least in my case) a sort of aural fatigue.

The last formidable version of Pictures until this date came from 1973, with Igor Markevitch conducting the Gewandhaus of Leizpig (Belrin classics label, still available).

So, when I decided myself to listen this version something deep inside me told me I was going right. And my admiration was unlimited from the very beginning until the epic finale.

Valery Gergiev brought both the score and us, a memorable performance remarking passages of febrile incandescence, startling energy and histamine.

It's such the tonal musculature and the vibrant flair that results less than impossible to forget it. My whole impression matches with the most of the previous reviews. The Vienna Philharmonic proves once more the colossal prestige that always have featured it. Strings, woods, winds and metals play with such mastery and inexhaustible vigor responding so the exigencies of this extraordinary conductor.

A well rounded recording and the most flaming version of the Pictures recorded in the last 35 years, neither more nor less.

Earnestly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Endless Fascination of the Vienna Phil July 10 2010
By Peter T. Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree with all the reviewers on this one. Gergiev's inclination to 'paint with sound' the individual selections of Pictures works wonderfully and is enhanced by the immediacey of this live performance. And as the other reviewers have correctly observed, we are with this recording in the presence of a super-orchestra; The Vienna Philharmonic. Having had the good fortune to hear them live in California some years ago, in an auditorium no where near as good as the Musik Verein, I can tell you there is nothing like it, and I've heard many orchestras. The packed house simply sat there in stunned awe at what we were experiencing. Perfection. Flawless tonal perfection. And you should see how they travel !! The entire orchestra with all its instruments (two of each, like Noah) and it's supporting staff, filled four full sized tour buses. It was like a small army. The only other orchestra that competes at this rarified level is the Royal Concertgebouw. I tell you, it must be nice to be a resident of Vienna and get to hear these people anytime you want.

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