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Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on Bald Mountai CD

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Night on Bald Mountain
  2. Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade
  3. I. Gnomus (The Gnome)
  4. Promenade
  5. II. II Vecchio Castello (The Old Castle)
  6. Promenade
  7. III Tuileries (Children Quarrelling at play)
  8. IV. Bydlo
  9. Promenade
  10. V. Ballet des poussins dans leurs Coques (Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells)
  11. VI. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmüyle
  12. VII. Limoges. Le Marché (The Marketplace at Limoges)
  13. VIII. Catacombae. Sepulcrum Romanum (Catacombs, Roman Tombs)
  14. Cum Mortuis in Lingua Mortua (With the Dead in a Dead Language)
  15. IX. La Cabane sur des pattes de poule (The Hut on Fowl's Legs) (Baba-Yaga)
  16. X. La Grande Porte de Kiev (The Great Gate of Kiev)
  17. Prelude to Khovanshchina (Dawn on the Moscow River)

Product Description

Paavo Järvi continues his series of Russian recordings with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra with a disc entirely devoted to works by Mussorgsky.

Pictures at an Exhibition, originally composed for piano, is heard here in the orchestration by Ravel. Mussorgsy wrote pictures as a tribute to his friend, artist and architect Viktor Hartmann. The familiar Promenade theme links Mussorgsky's imaginary tour of Hartmann's exhibition.

Rimsky-Korsakov, who felt that Night on Bald Mountain had many marvellous effects, tried to resurrect it after his friend died. He smoothed out many of the irregularities and improved the orchestration, most likely working from the final version of the piece.

The Prelude to Mussorgsky's ill-fated opera Khovanschchina is titled Dawn on the Moskva River. Mussorgsky composed much of the music for the first four acts, but orchestrated only a small amount of it. The task of orchestrating and completing the opera fell to his friend Rimsky-Korsakov. The Prelude sets the scene for Act I in the Red Square in Moscow, and uses a theme of distinctly Russian folk character, which undergoes a series of melodic variations.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Jarvi (conductor)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x96614354) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96833d68) out of 5 stars Pleasing 27 Jun. 2009
By David Saemann - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first thing one must address about this album is the sound engineering. It is very close up, with almost no atmosphere whatsoever. Also, the tonal quality is rather opaque, which seems to be an artifact of the Direct Stream Digital recording technology. Once you adjust to all of this, there is plenty of detail in the recording, and a very wide dynamic range that requires you to turn up the volume to secure the full effect. The performances are highly rewarding. Maestro Jarvi is a highly accomplished conductor, and the attention to detail throughout the CD is sensational. Night on Bald Mountain is inflected with real drama in the big moments, and the Prelude to Khovanschina is highly evocative, with stunning pianissimos. As for Pictures, it is sensibly paced and judiciously phrased. Jarvi never reaches for momentary excitement, but rather has his eyes on the whole picture throughout the work. The bell in the Great Gate of Kiev is particularly delectable. I don't know that the sound engineering would make this a first choice among Pictures, but if you can get used to it the performances are of the highest caliber.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96c368f4) out of 5 stars 4.5 stars.... Excellent all-Mussorgsky album 22 Oct. 2008
By Paul Allaer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Since Paavo Jarvi became the Cincinnati Symphony's Music Director in September, 2001, the Telearc label has issued 2 albums a year of the CSO directed by Maestro Jarvi, pretty much like clockwork, one in the Fall, and one in the Spring. This is the 14th in the series.

This CD (51 min.) is an all-Mussorgsky album. It starts off with a great appetizer "Night on Bald Mountain", which will immediately appeal to you and sound familiar (from the Walt Disney movie Fantasia). It then is followed by the main course, "Pictures at an Exhibition", one of the most popular classical pieces ever, and Maestro Jarvi brings it with great skill and brings out the best in the orchestra. Check out the subtle yet warm "The Old Castle", the highlight for me on the album, with a tremendous saxophone solo. But other "portraits" like "Bydlo", "The Marketplace of Limoges" and the finale, "The Great Gate of Kiev" are also standouts. The final piece of the album, think of it as the dessert, is the short "Down on the Moscow River", a beautiful pensive tune.

As usual, courtesy the folks at Telearc, the recording/audio quality of this CD is nothing short of spectacular. Maestro Jarvi and the CSO went on a highly successful tour of Europe earlier this year (I had the good fortune of catching them on that tour in Amsterdam and Paris). Under the guidance of Maestro Jarvi, the CSO continues to shine, and this new album is ample proof of that. Meanwhile, this album is highly recommended!
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96d4e108) out of 5 stars pictures at an exibition cd 17 Sept. 2013
By luigi - Published on
Verified Purchase
compared this recording with a bbc recording and it did not measure up. the bass drummer sounds like he's off stage somewhere. the rest of the sound it just o.k.
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