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Ravel: Boléro / Debussy: La Mer / Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
 
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Ravel: Boléro / Debussy: La Mer / Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

4 April 1995 | Format: MP3

£5.49 (VAT included if applicable)
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8:33
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7:50
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1:14
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2:49
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1:01
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1:12
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1:26
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3:31
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6:43
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16:08
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1995
  • Release Date: 4 April 1995
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1995 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:14:26
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001M0WTE2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,268 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R O Tiree on 15 Sept. 2013
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If I'm honest, I'm not a great fan of Debussy, but La Mer is beatifully done. Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition is just stunning and Ravel's Bolero is majestic.

Too many music recordings these days take the tempo far too fast (submitting to commercial pressure to get as much down as possible on a CD), so the whole thing gets blurred. If orchestral pieces are played too fast, then individual sections of the orchestra cannot keep it together and the rest of the orchestra rapidly loses the plot as well. As a result, a listener's brain rapidly tires of trying to resolve the timing issues. Not so with this recording, clearly, as it was done in the heady days of "vinyl". I'm not going to get into a discussion of whether vinyl is better than CD, but it's simply a matter of the amount of music you could get onto two sides of an LP compared with the extra 15 minutes or so you can get onto a CD - there's a strong temptation to add another piece that won't quite fit unless you rush everything, but at least you can appeal to a wider audience when putting together a medley and you also save on production costs (fewer CDs in a boxed set, for example). Each note on this recording is audible and the perfomance is tight, without being wooden, a result of (a) von Karajan's firm direction and (b) not taking things too fast, so the orchestra members could LISTEN to each other and stay together as the tempo was accelerated and decelerated for dramatic effect.

As an example of what I'm talking about with tempo... Maurice Ravel originally wrote 76 bpm on his score for Bolero. Later, he crossed that out and wrote 66 bpm instead. His first recording in 1930 lasted 15 min 50 sec. At 76 bpm, the piece lasts a little under 14 min and the majority of modern recordings are in this ball-park.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Apart from a couple of reviews from way back around the turn of the century, whose authors hear flaws in this recording that I do not, nearly everyone concurs that ever since their recording fifty years ago, these performances have remained unequalled and unassailable. Of course there are are other excellent recordings of all three pieces (Giulini's "Pictures" with the Chicago SO and his "La mer" with the Philharmonia, for example) but as a collection this is a testament to both the sonority of the Berlin Philharmonic at its peak under Karajan and to that conductor's chameleon ability to empathise with and elucidate music from outside the late German Romantic tradition in which he excelled. His brief dalliance with the Orchestre de Paris confirms his attachment to French music and his ability to pace and colour both the Debussy and the Ravel emerges as a thing of wonder.

There is of course a neat link in the programming here between the Mussorgsky and "Boléro" as the composer of the latter orchestrated the "Pictures" brilliantly; originally these recordings, made between 1964 and 1966 in the warm ambiance of the Jesus-Christus-Kirche, were issued on two separate LPs, one of French music by Debussy and Ravel and the other with just the Mussorgsky and "Boléro". Any attempt at musical criticism of such seminal recordings would be superfluous after such a long time; it is sufficient to note that the delicacy and nuance of Karajan's evocation of the sea remain extraordinary, and the peroration of the "Pictures" in "The Great Gate of Kiev" remains one of the greatest expositions of the symphony orchestra in full flight ever committed to disc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fahrenden Gesellen on 30 July 2014
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Listen to it loud and somewhat inebriated and you'll be skating around your home in your stocking soles, knocking nicknacks asunder by the time Boléro reaches its pinnacle. Wonderful.
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Probably their three best known works. It's taken quite a while to become used to Debussy's music which has been likened to Impressionist art in music. I am gradually beginning to appreciate him more with the help of this CD. The Ravel Bolero is so well known that it requires no comment other than to say that is wonderfully hypnotic. The Mussorgsky work is a series of little vignettes that may be enjoyed en masse or individually.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Kearley on 25 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
brilliant recording and a good pairing of composers bought this to replace a record and its blow me away by far the best recording of this i have heard
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