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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best recordings of Pictures
This is a very exciting and totally captivating perfromance of Pictures at an Exhibition played with provocative tempi and amazing grandeur. One of the finest Pogorelich DG recordings. Highly recommendable alongside Pletnev and Richter's classic accounts.
Published on 6 Mar 2008 by Scriabinmahler

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Risky! Slow, but does this work?
This recording is the slowest - in tempo - I know of Mussorgsky's Pictures. It stands opposite to the racy ways Byron Janis or Vladimir Ashkenazy perform(ed) this work.
Playing a classical work slow doesn't have to mean that it's dull or wrong. Most conductors tend to get slower with the years; the way Karajan performed Beethoven's symphonies in the sixties (recorded...
Published on 7 Aug 2008 by Charles Voogd


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best recordings of Pictures, 6 Mar 2008
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a very exciting and totally captivating perfromance of Pictures at an Exhibition played with provocative tempi and amazing grandeur. One of the finest Pogorelich DG recordings. Highly recommendable alongside Pletnev and Richter's classic accounts.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Risky! Slow, but does this work?, 7 Aug 2008
By 
Charles Voogd (Underwaterland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This recording is the slowest - in tempo - I know of Mussorgsky's Pictures. It stands opposite to the racy ways Byron Janis or Vladimir Ashkenazy perform(ed) this work.
Playing a classical work slow doesn't have to mean that it's dull or wrong. Most conductors tend to get slower with the years; the way Karajan performed Beethoven's symphonies in the sixties (recorded by EMI) is way faster than he did in the eighties (on DGG). But I think both versions have their merits. Fast(er) can mean more sensational - and gives the orchestral players the opportunity to show themselves of - and slow(er) can mean more insight. The BEST way to Judge a performer, or an orchestra is the way they play (together) in slower movements (andante and less) because the very thing you ought to hear that moment is insight and technique. Splashy performances are sensational for a summer or proms public and gives roaring applause but most of the time the insight in the works is lost and there're technical problems (which many don't hear because of the technical display and atmosphere of the moment and lack of knowing the work in a detailed manner).

But with Pogorelich I think you get a slow performance and a loss of insight. I think it's way too slow and than the coherence and the meaning of a work gets lost and that's what happening here. Listen to the way he takes the first promenade. This is not a visitor of an exhibition who thinks `well this's interesting, I'm very curious what pictures they've here, hope it's worth the money!' and of he goes to the first picture. No instead you get a person who thinks `can't be much they offer here, have seen everything before, must be a very good painter will he ever be able to surprise me'. Got the idea?
The way Pogorelich plays the old Castle is another example. You don't get a creepy old castle in moonlight which gives you shivers thinking where's Batman? Instead you don't even hear a castle in moonlight (yes, that's possible) but you get a technical display of how notes are played and how accents can be shifted throughout a work. Ideal for students who wish to hear how a piece like this is put together. If you could listen to this part blindfolded and you wouldn't know it's a part of Mussorgsky's pictures I think there'll be a few persons who even don't recognise it as a part of it!

So for me this isn't the pictures I want and it can't keep me interested. It's similar in vein the way Celibidache raped many classical works. He killed many orchestral works the way he interpreted them: slow, warm, a bath of pluche sounds, twinkle here and twinkle there (his way with Debussy). Bah.
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