This is a superb performance of the piano version of 'Pictures at an Exhibition' (I've yet to listen to Ashkenazy's orchestration which is the second piece on the disc; I can't stop listening to the first one!). In fact, I think it's the best I've heard either live or on record, including Richter who has always set the benchmark for me with this work. What Vladimir Ashkenazy brings out brilliantly is the character of each of the individual 'pictures', and his touch is not to be faulted. There is a tendency among some pianists to attack this work with every big gun they have in their arsenal; with Ashkenazy there is delicacy when appropriate, and power when it's needed: everything is subordinated to the music and is shaped and coloured accordingly. There are many 'magic moments' (and this from a reviewer who has heard a fair few performances of this work and wondered what Ashkenazy could possibly bring to it that was new): 'Tuileries-Bydlo' is one; and the transition from 'The Hut on Hen's Legs' into 'The Great Gates of Kiev' is spine-tingling; but it is the overall effect which in my opinion makes this an essential recording. He is a great, great pianist!