- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Arrow (May 14 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099560445
- ISBN-13: 978-0099560449
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,293,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pictures at an Exhibition Paperback – May 14 2012
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About the Author
CAMILLA MACPHERSON is a solicitor. She lives in London with her husband and daughter. Pictures at an Exhibition is her first novel.
Top customer reviews
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Given the other performances in his recorded repertoire, Bronfman should need no introduction at all. This is pianism of the absolute highest quality. Alongside Richter’s Sofia recital performance from 1958 this is, for me, the best currently available version of Mussorgsky's Pictures. The mood of each tableau is captured and shaped with exquisite skill as the technical hurdles present no challenge to this pianist.
I still listen to Horowitz’ Carnegie Hall performances (1948 and 1951) (RCA) and never fail to thrill to the excitement, his unique vision, fabulous technique and exquisite individual touches – too individual, some would say, and probably so for a first-choice version.
The Petrouchka pieces are simply stunning - the best I have heard since Pollini (DGG).
As both an art lover and a history-jock with a special interest in Jewish subjects and World War 2, I thought Houghteling told her story of French art dealers both before and after the war very well. But, this was a story of a family of art dealers as much as a story of the art they were selling. And the family, as most families are, was comprised of members who had their own secrets, not shared with the others. The secrets come together in the end, to tie up a story well told.
I wonder how much of the story is Sara Houghteling's own family's?
Pictures at an Exhibition, (orch. Ravel)
Night on Bald Mountain, original and Rimsky's
Golitsin's Exile from Khovanchina
Hopak from Sorochinsky Fair
Wow. I didn't think I could get excited while listening to Pics at an Ex
ever again, but the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine turns in a
vivid performance. From the deliciously unhomogenized oboe, to the earthy
but warm strings, to the overly-earnest percussion section...it was a
delight all the way through. (Don't tell anyone, but usually I move ahead
to the Hut and Gate.
One of the many striking moments was how splashy Ravel's writing for bells,
gong and cymbals sounds in the last quiet run before the final statement of
the Great Gate theme; it was an unusually colorful, intense and exciting
build up. The heaving string
writing in Bydlo comes off particulary sad and burdensome, as the cart
lumbers along. Lighter moments for winds are vividly characterized.
Had enough of Night on Bald Mountain? You get two versions here: Rimsky's
correction, and Mussy's original. I like both, though my favorite
being the one with chorus, as it sounds the most errie of all.
I believe.) Kuchar and the Ukraine make them sound freshly-minted.
If you think you had no romance left for this music, it got me goin' again.
Once again the SACD recording, (I opted for the 2-channel layer),
intoxicates the ear in a way that PCM never did for me, though I never would
have known when PCM was all there was. "Relaxed" is the best way I could
sound, for what it's worth.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Aside from the more Russian sounding "Pictures", what I enjoyed most here were "Night on Bald Mountain", the "Khovanshchina" conglomeration and the symphonic synthesis on "Boris Godunov". This adds up to about 40 minutes of exciting Russian music delivered with gusto in great sound.
The Bournemouth Symphony hardly play like understated Englishmen in this recording, which will tear a hole in your speaker or knock some dishes off the shelves if you aren't careful with your volume or subwoofer controls when you first play this thing.
This 5.0 SACD is the real thing right from the first few notes of "Night On Bald Mountain" that begin the program. On my 5.1 surround sound system it about knocked down the walls of my house. It brings new definition to the term "demonstration recording"!
Not long ago I wrote a review of Stoki's last remaining CD of his version of "Pictures At An Exhibition" in his own orchestration and scoring. Stoki dropped two of the French paintings and made everything else sound Russian by emphasizing low strings and deemphasizing brilliant brass. Serebrier carried the memory of his mentor's work forward in this recroding, which is destined to wind up on some "best sounding CD of the year" lists.
The works that Bronfman chose would challenge any pianist. He begins with a thrilling account of Three Movements from Petrouchka. My first impression was how incredibly precise Bronfman plays. This is precision that rivals that of Sviatoslav Richter. The interview is over, thank you very much. You don't see emotion dripping from music such as Stravinsky, but if it did, Bronfman would be pouring it. The Shrove Tide is played to the hilt with as much emotion as the music will allow.
In Pictures at an Exhibition, Bronfman gives the performance of a lifetime. I recently reviewed Richter's performance on Melodiya, and there are striking parallels between the legend and Bronfman. Both play with phenomenal precision. Both demonstrate astonishing technique. Both play with absolute determination. Both possess the ability to finely shade dynamics better than many pianists. Could Bronfman be the modern successor to Richter? It says much for Bronfman that I even consider the question, and I'll leave it at that. In the end, I think Richter has not been equaled or surpassed in Pictures, but he wins by a nose (in Louisville/KY Derby parlance), and I would not hang myself if I was told that I couldn't have my Richter to hear in this amazing music but could have Bronfman instead. That wouldn't bother much at all.
Tchaikovsky's Dumka is one of the composer's finest works for the piano. Tchaikovsky piano music often sounds like a piano transcription of orchestral music. Not here. Dumka tests the pianist's ability to play lyrically as well as demonstrate technical prowess. Bronfman passes the exam with flying colors.
This album is one of those that after it's over, you play again - especially Pictures. And so I did. And I was just as impressed the second hearing. I will point out that the edits when the music abruptly changes are clearly heard. I am not especially fond of that. It is okay for the pianist to be human and require a few milliseconds to shift his hands. I must also applaud Bronfman for his tone which is really nicely rounded.
I love this disc, and it goes right alongside Richter under Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition. It is that great! The piano sound is a bit too brilliant, but that could be piano or miking. I do not hesitate giving this album my ABSOLUTE HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!!!