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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
I saw Evgeny Kissin playing stuff from the C.D live at symphony hall: the reason I purchased the C.D. The performance was extra-ordinary. Genius is an over used word today, seems every three chord wonder attracts the tag. But how the title fits Kissin! His mastery of the instrument kicks belief, and this man isn't just a technique, the musicality is profound, the...
Published on 18 May 2002 by ianmalpass@hotmail.com

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thud! thud!
Kissin's version of the Bach/Busoni Toccata is a wonderful construction of glass and steel; the Adagio is thoughtful and dramatic; and the glittering fugue is exhirarating. But unfortunately what works for Bach/Busoni is disastrous for Mussourgsky. I think Kissin's Pictures at an Exhibition is the worst performance I have ever heard of that wonderful work. He clanks round...
Published 22 months ago by jakeysane


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!, 18 May 2002
This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
I saw Evgeny Kissin playing stuff from the C.D live at symphony hall: the reason I purchased the C.D. The performance was extra-ordinary. Genius is an over used word today, seems every three chord wonder attracts the tag. But how the title fits Kissin! His mastery of the instrument kicks belief, and this man isn't just a technique, the musicality is profound, the understanding of the pieces absolute. Nothing, of course, can compare let alone beat the experience of genius live, but this C.D comes as close as it possible. In short, forget five stars, this is a perfect ten!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful playing, 8 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
I heard some of these pieces live at the Royal Festival Hall, and it was a magnificent recital. This CD is also fist class. Evgeny Kissin plays with total conviction and mastery of the instrument, every 'picture' in the Mussorgsky for example, is brought out with such clarity that it is quite overwhelming. The Glinka/Balakirev is also played with musicality of a very high order. The Bach/Busoni is rather too esoteric for me as a piece, but as a performance Kissin plays with such a tremendous technique to the point that you just marvel at his command of the score, both intellectually and musically. This goes for all the works on the disc. You won't be able to put this CD down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thud! thud!, 15 Jun 2012
This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Kissin's version of the Bach/Busoni Toccata is a wonderful construction of glass and steel; the Adagio is thoughtful and dramatic; and the glittering fugue is exhirarating. But unfortunately what works for Bach/Busoni is disastrous for Mussourgsky. I think Kissin's Pictures at an Exhibition is the worst performance I have ever heard of that wonderful work. He clanks round the exhibition like someone wearing a diving suit; and wherever poetry is required (e.g. for The Old Castle and Samuel Godenberg and Shmuyle), he provides a metronome. The beginning of Con Mortuis in Lingua Mortua sounds like a fire bell, not a descent into a gloomy abyss. He even manages to take away the grandeur of the Great Gates of Kiev - muting the the Orthodox chant in the process - something I would have thought hardly possible. For years I have preferred the piano version far beyond even Ravel's orchestration, but thank goodness I first encountered it in a recording by Wolfgang Bloser (alas,now no longer available)- Kissin would have put me off for life. I originally gave this one star, on the basis of the Pictures, because there was no option for none at all, but have moved the album up to three because of the Bach/Busoni.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget all the negatives, 4 Jan 2003
By 
SH_ (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Some people like to hint because Kissin is so technically brilliant that he lacks feeling or emotional maturity - this is the CD that will definitely prove otherwise to even the most sceptical listeners. It's not Brendel; it's not Mitsuko; it is Kissin, they're different and equal, playing with a combination of precision and passion that can be light and very powerful where required. The Bach is astonishing and he has converted me to Pictures at an Exhibition in a way that no one ever did before.

This man makes boring music sound brilliant - what more can you ask.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Will no-one rid me of this turbulent gent with the bowtie?", 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Frank Smythe was the last man standing in the 1933 British Expedition to Everest. In his final assault on the summit via the northeast ridge, he had an `On the Road to Emmaus' experience, wherein he was convinced that someone had joined him in his travails. Indeed, he offered food to his companion. Only one explanation is possible: it was the ghost of Mallory.

I wonder whether Kissin experiences the same phenomenon when he attempts to summit such peaks as Bach / Busoni's BWV 564 and Pictures at an Exhibition. Namely, that a legend has gone before him - Vladimir Horowitz - and try as he might, he cannot shake off the spectral presence. It must be a bugger. On their own terms, these are stupendous performances. Their power and poetry are irresistible. And yet are they more memorable than Live & Unedited: Historic 1965 Carnegie Hall or Horowitz: The Historic Return; Carnegie Hall 1965; The 1966 Concerts or Pictures at an Exhibition? Kissin offers rapture. Horowitz will unhorse you - welcome to Damascus.

Defying the gods, Horowitz embellishes the Great Gate of Kiev in a tour de force. Oh, bring the rain! On the basis of what he accomplishes in the first movement of Toccata, his left hand should have been deified. Kissin's virtuosity is stunning but not celestial.

Bridge the years! Overcome the sonics! Epsilon though I be, there's a world of difference between an alpha and a Beta. Q.E.D - Quod erat demonstrandum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passeggiate tra i quadri di Mussorgsky, 23 April 2010
This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Tocco calibratissimo, finezza interpretativa, grande cura del suono. Dopo una sorta di preambolo costituito dalle pagine di Bach-Busoni e Glinka, il cd ci propone i Quadri di Mussorgski in una eccellente versione, chiara ed elegante, che conferma, ancora una volta, il talento di Kissin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical piano playing, 22 Sep 2009
By 
Mitchell (Boston Spa, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Pictures is best heard in the original piano version. This really lives up to expectations, electric playing, compulsive listening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I agree : that's wonderful ..., 20 Mar 2012
This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Do you like to feel puzzled ?

Just buy, nearly simultaneously, Kissin's version on the Piano -I NEVER heard it played better-, and

Valery Gergiev's orchestral counterpart - which is among the Best...if not THE best ? -

AND...every time you'll see them on the table, you won't know WHICH ONE should be slipped into your HiFi equipment first......

Either way you'll get a HANDFUL of delicious listening time !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 21 Jan 2012
By 
Dr. P. M. Symmons (Beyries France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
This is the most extraordinary virtuoso performance. There is nothing more to say. On a parallel point the original piano version is quite different from the orchestral arrangement by Ravel. Mussorsgsky knew what he was about. You may say that "Pictures" strains the sole piano as a medium especially The Great Gate of Kiev but that to me is its merit. Doing the next to impossible creates excitement and tension. The orchestral version despite its clever orchestration, is flat by comparison.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pictures at an Exhibition & Bach Tocatta & Fugue - Kissin, 22 Feb 2011
This review is from: Pictures at an Exhibition (Audio CD)
Brilliant playing but possibly some recording ptoblems. I am testing again, in case it is my equipment.
The playing by Kissin is stunning.
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Pictures at an Exhibition
Pictures at an Exhibition by Evgeny Kissin (Audio CD - 2002)
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