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

Modeste Mussorgsky , Vienna Philharmonic Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

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

Product Description

Product Description


Valery Gergiev's absorbing traversal of Pictures at an Exhibition stresses composer Mussorgsky's elemental sensibility over Ravel's urbane orchestration. The conductor achieves this by encouraging the Vienna Philharmonic brass to play up their characteristically broad sonority, especially from the elemental choralelike writing in Catacombae until the concluding Great Gate at Kiev's shattering climax. Some of the conductor's rubatos, however, seem grafted on rather than genuinely felt, like the arch clarinet ritard in Tuileries and the overphrased string legatos that bog down The Old Castle's basic pulse. Philips' spacious sonics convey a palpable concert hall ambience (this is, after all, a live recording), yet lack the dynamic impact and vivid detail one still hears from the benchmark Reiner and Szell editions. As a result, Night on the Bare Mountain's swirling momentum sounds diffused and dramatically flat. The Khovanshina Prelude and Gopak, though, make delightful fillers. --Jed Distler

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Splendid! April 10 2004
By Grady Harp TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Gergiev at his best!! April 23 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Almost The Best Modern Recording Of "Pictures" Dec 29 2002
By John Kwok TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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