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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On Bare Mountain / Karajan, Maazel


Release Date: 09/26/2000 
Label:  Dg Panorama Catalog #: 469169   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Brigitte FassbaenderSviatoslav RichterGalina VishnevskayaAlexei Maslennikov,   ... 
Conductor:  Carlo Maria GiuliniLorin MaazelNeeme JärviMikhail Pletnev,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony OrchestraBerlin Philharmonic OrchestraGothenburg Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 36 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The orchestral version of Pictures has 15 tracks the piano version has 14, daft, isn't it? This is because the movement The Old Castle and the succeeding promenade in the piano version is one track whereas in the orchestral version it is two.

In this recording the orchestral version is about four and a half minutes longer than the piano version. Perhaps this is because the orchestral version is more colourful and the colours need to come out. But it is more obvious that Richter wants to speed things up. Guilini is interested in detail, some of which I have not heard before particularly in a staggering performance of the Bydlo movement. And can't you just tell that this is Ravel's orchestration. Bolero is not far away. The
Read more Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks is very well caught.... the woodwind are quite brilliant. The Samuel Goldenburg Tableaux is an awful piece and where Ravel's orchestration could be called into question. How well Guilini transports us to be among the dead... really grim, sinister and powerful music. The power that Guilini unleashes in The Hut on Chicken's Legs is breathtaking and stirring but the subtle music is equally effective. What a magnificent orchestra Fritz Reiner made the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and so , in 1977, Guilini reaps the benefit as have other conductors.

The Great Gate at Kiev is an awful piece to bring off. It can be played so statically, stiffly, slowly and dully. It can just be noise and pause. I was amazed at Guilini's wise tempo and how he made an excellent job of a doubtful piece of music and orchestration. I have not heard this problematical final movement played better. Guilini has done what no other conductor has done. He has made the music live and get off its bottom!

But there is a problem.

When you hear a fine performance like this and later have to review another performance you make comparisons and the second performance will suffer because of the superb first performance.

Songs and Dances of Death is an amazing song cycle of tremendous emotional and dramatic power, more concise and threfore more effective than those by Mahler. Fassbaender is absolutely magnificent. Her earthy voice with its compelling quality and range is truly superlative. Her communication skill is supreme. Here is one of the greatest voices and singers of the present time. A performance beyond praise.

Richter's version of Pictures was a typical eccentric performance that one is used to from him, by now. It was mannered with strange tempi , a smattering of very bad wrong notes, even allowing for a live performance. And a very cold performance.

The Six Songs has Galina Vishnevskaya in marvellous voice. I was very impressed. She is almost as good as Fassbaender. The songs are very strong, often dramatic and very exciting. My, those upward vocal glissandi.

The excerpts from Boris Godunov were hugely enjoyable once one got over the hurdle that this is Karajan conducting and adding his extraneous matter to the score. It is a great opera and the performance conducted by Andre Clutyens remains my favourite . But I am very fussy about opera.

-- David Wright, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Pictures at an Exhibition for Orchestra (orchestrated by Ravel) by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1874/1922; Russia 
2.
Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Russia 
Length: 9 Minutes 50 Secs. 
3.
Songs and dances of death by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender (Soprano)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1877; Russia 
Length: 19 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4.
Khovanshchina: Act 1 Prelude "Dawn on the Moscow River" by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872-1880; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
5.
Khovanshchina: Dance of the Persian Slaves by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872-1880; Russia 
Length: 6 Minutes 35 Secs. 
6.
Pictures at an Exhibition for Piano by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Length: 30 Minutes 7 Secs. 
7.
Lullaby by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano)
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Russia 
8.
The magpie by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano)
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
9.
Night by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano)
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864/1868; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
10.
Where art thou, little star? by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano)
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857/1858; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
11.
The ragamuffin by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano)
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
12.
On the Dnieper by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya (Soprano)
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866/1879; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
13.
Boris Godunov: Prologue - Long life to our Czar Boris Feodorovich by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Alexei Maslennikov (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1873; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14.
Boris Godunov: My soul is sad by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1873; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
15.
Boris Godunov: I have attained the highest power "Boris' Monologue" by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1873; Russia 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
16.
Boris Godunov: Farewell, my son, I am dying "Death of Boris" by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1873; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
17.
Boris Godunov: Hark, 'tis the knell of death by Modest Mussorgsky
Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1873; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Russian 

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