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Pictures at an Exhibition / Night on Bald Mountain


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Biography

A musician of unparalleled versatility, Leonard Bernstein achieved worldwide renown in a career spanning nearly five decades - as an inspiring conductor and teacher, as a wide-ranging composer and author, as a gifted pianist.

As composer, he created a body of works extraordinarily diverse in form and style: for example, three symphonies (Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety and Kaddish) the ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Bernstein Store

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade. Allegro giusto, nel modo russico; senza allegrezza, ma poco sostenutoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 1:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Pictures at an Exhibition: I. Gnomus. VivoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade. Moderato comodo e con delicatezzaLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic0:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. II. Il vecchio castello. AndanteLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade. Moderato non tanto, pesanteLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic0:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. III. Tuileries. Allegretto non troppo, capricciosoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 1:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Pictures at an Exhibition: IV. Bydlo. Sempre moderato, pesanteLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade. TranquilloLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic0:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Pictures at an Exhibition: V. Ballet des poussins dans leurs coques. Scherzino. Vivo leggieroLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 1:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Pictures at an Exhibition: VI. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle. AndanteLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Pictures at an Exhibition: VII. Limoges. Le Marché - Allegretto vivo, sempre scherzandoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 1:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Pictures At An Exhibition: VIII. Catacombae. Sepulchrum Romanum - LargoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 1:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Cum mortuis in lingua mortua. Andante non troppo, con lamentoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 1:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Pictures at an Exhibition: IX. La Cabane sur des pattes de poule - Allegro con brio, feroce - Andante mosso - Allegro moltoLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 3:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Pictures at an Exhibition: X. La grande porte de Kiev. Allegro alla breve. Maestoso. Con grandezzaLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic 6:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Night on Bald MountainLeonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic10:59Album Only
Listen17. Songs and Dances of Death: I. TrepakLeonard Bernstein;Jennie Tourel 5:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Songs and Dances of Death: II. LullabyLeonard Bernstein;Jenny Tourel 5:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Songs and Dances of Death: III. SerenadeLeonard Bernstein;Jennie Tourel 5:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. IV. Field MarshalLeonard Bernstein;Jenny Tourel 6:18£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Bernstein is highly original and personal in Pictures 20 Feb 2007
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Two things conspired to keep me from discovering this one-of-a-kind 'Pictures at an Exhibition' sooner. First, there are enough great recordings to go around from Reiner, Karajan, Stokowksi--name your own. Second, I assumed that Bernstien would conduct this thrice-familiar piece simply as a commercial duty. I was wrong: this is the most personal performance among the great ones. Bernstein has ideas and feelings in every section, and with the NY Phil. at its virtuosic best, the whole thing is an enchanting discovery.

Bernstein's secret is that he goes to the heart of the music rather than just conducting Ravel's brilliant orchestration. As a result, we feel we are looking at separate paintings on the wall, just as Mussorgsky intended, each with its own flavor, more often than not tinged with melancholy (after all, Mussorgsky's artist friend had died). Compared to this account, all the others I own seem a bit shallow and glittery--this one is pure soul.

The sound is impeccable in the current remastering, and we get two outstanding fillers. First, a thrilling Night on Bald Mountain that gives Stokowski's a run for its money while retaining more musical integrity. Second, Bernstein accompanies his great fried, mezzo Jennie Tourel, in four Songs and Dances of Death (in clean early Fifties mono). It's interesting to hear a non-Slavic voice in these pieces, and our two performers are so ebullient that they turn in one of the least grim versions on disc.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Bernstein turns the Pictures into an event, exciting, but still charming 15 May 2012
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For the Pictures to really "work", its conductor needs to find the right balance, avoiding sterility while still sounding pictorial. There's lots of room for personality, though; it's not that a conductor has a limited range of options. Leonard Bernstein is one of the most talented conductors we've ever seen, but some may fear that he will overindulge (a criticism so common with him it's long been a cliché).

Never fear; he doesn't overindulge. I was astonished at how sensitive he was, actually. Keen to find meaning in the work's intricacies, he pulls a wide range of color from New York. But he does much more than produce fine orchestral playing. Each individual picture is vibrant in its own world. Bernstein seems to be taken an inward look, almost as if though he were painting the work with his own personalized brush. Momentum is never lacking, but what strikes me the most isn't Bernstein's electricity. There's a strong idiomatic feel, one that makes a cogent impression of nostalgia. I find everything gripping, but this isn't so much a powerhouse display as much as a gentle stroll through the exhibition. The catcher isn't the strolling part, of course, but the pictures that make an indelible impression on its spectators.

"The Night on the Bare Mountain" is grotesque just like it should be. New York plays with compelling vigor, and Bernstein doesn't try to tame the work. He's with New York every step of the way, adding elements of spookiness that creep up around surprise corners. All the orchestral details are there for our enjoyment, but Bernstein's priorities are straight: first and foremost he wants us to hear the work's haunted atmosphere. Fine orchestral playing comes, but on the wing.

I'm not a fan of the "Songs and Dances of Death", but Bernstein is a fine pianist and Jennie Tourel sings with conviction. It's caught in good mono sound.

Prepare for a delightful Pictures full of fun while still keeping sight of the composer's drama.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Top shelf interpretations and performances. Sound is more than adequate. One of the very best! 3 July 2014
By Joseph Kline PhD, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There was always something magical about a Bernstein-led performance and though dated, there was always something special about his recordings with his New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Here the combination performs Modest Mussorgsky’s popular Pictures at an Exhibition recorded in 1958 on Columbia, now Sony Classical. Also included is the 1950 recording of Night on Bare Mountain and Songs and Dances of Death sung by mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel.

Bernstein was original in most everything he conducted, but in the Pictures he is not far from the norm. Lennie often took works at a slower pace, but his Pictures is only slightly slower in tempo than that of most other accounts. What is original here is his tempo flexibility. It is as though the music breathes with slight ritardando or accelerando at the end of some phrases. Bernstein was always an emotion-driven conductor who took a fresh look at everything, and often that emotion and those fresh looks produced a different perspective or lens on the music. Too often, Pictures at an Exhibition has become a blockbuster spectacle. But it IS a musical work, and under Bernstein’s baton it becomes a music masterpiece.

I only wish the sound of Pictures was commensurate with the interpretation. The recording sound is quite good but does reveal its age when heard through a high-end system. Some instruments such as percussion instruments have come through the years in superb shape. Others such as brass and woodwinds have lost some presence. Strings sound thin (but not consistently), but I have always felt the Columbia usually recorded them as such. In contrast, though, lower strings are rich in Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle. In general the sound sounds recorded, if that makes any sense. Technically, center fill is variable, and at times an instrument moves from one speaker to the other. Finally, the sound just isn’t as full as in modern recordings. Still, Bernstein’s Pictures demonstrates superb interpretation. It is top shelf and belongs there.

The string sound is better in Night on Bare Mountain which was recorded in 1965 and which receives a grand treatment by Bernstein. The brass are particularly wonderful – bright and raspy. The perspective is closer in Night on Bare Mountain than in Pictures. This is an energized performance without being hectic. I am not going to comment on the Songs and Dances of Death except to say that they are moribund, beautifully sung, and the piano is recorded with exquisite mediocrity.

Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bare Mountain are given absolutely superb interpretations on this album. Sound falls short of the same quality but is more than adequate to make this a prized set of performances. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
EXCELLENT! FANTASTIC!! 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Just the Pictures on a Exhibition would have been worth it, but with the added Songs and Dances of Death, this CD is truly amazing. Get this CD.
Good Rendition 3 Mar 2013
By Richard` Rodrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Bernstein's stellar recording, this is the one from '58 and still ranks as his best, nice to still have it available
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