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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc / Serebrier


Release Date: 06/21/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557645   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Modest MussorgskyPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyMikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Leopold Stokowski's transcriptions have been getting a lot of attention on disc lately. Most particularly, DG reluctantly released an excellent disc of Mussorgsky pieces featuring Oliver Knussen and the Cleveland Orchestra, magnificently played and very different in conception from Stokowski's own. That disc vindicated his work by showing convincingly that these arrangements can have a successful existence independently of the great old wizard himself. José Serebrier's interpretations, while not quite so radical in their emphasis on laser-like clarity of texture, achieve much the same sort of validation while preserving more of the physical excitement and cinematic flamboyance of the original
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This isn't just a question of the exceptionally splashy and colorful use of heavy percussion at the end of A Night on Bare Mountain or Pictures at an Exhibition, impressive (and necessary) though that is. Serebrier, who worked as Stoki's assistant conductor at the American Symphony Orchestra for about five years, brings a keen ear for those luscious string sonorities that also give these editions much of their magic at lower dynamic levels. I'm thinking, for example, of the shimmering closing pages of the Boris Godunov Symphonic Synthesis, among other places. Serebrier also captures the tragic intensity of the Khovanshchina Entr'acte as well as Stokowski ever did: he's slower, darker, and heavier than Knussen, more raw and "Russian" sounding, as he also is in the terrifying Catacombs section of Pictures at an Exhibition.


There's further icing on the cake that you won't find on the Knussen disc: the two lovely Tchaikovsky transcriptions (the Humoresque will be familiar to knowledgeable listeners from its use in Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss), and Stokowski's own Traditional Slavic Christmas Music, a setting where once again Serebrier shows himself able to conjure a truly authentic "Stokowski sound". Mind you, these aren't mere imitations. Serebrier's flexible approach to tempo and willingness to inject a jolt of extra electricity make something quite special out of the climaxes in A Night on Bare Mountain, and it's very clear that the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is having as much fun playing this music as you will have listening to it. The engineering stands among the best from this source as well. Spectacular, sensational, skirting the boundaries of "good taste"--this is the real deal. [6/17/2005]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Pictures at an Exhibition (arrangements and orchestrations other than Ravel's) by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 28 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 
2. Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 9 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 
3. Khovanshchina: Act 4 Prelude "Entr'acte" by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872-1880; Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 
4. Boris Godunov: Symphonic Synthesis by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1873; Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 24 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 
5. Songs (6), Op. 73: no 6, Again, as before, alone by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 
6. Morceaux (2) for Piano, Op. 10: no 2, Humoresque by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 
7. In the Manger by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov
Conductor:  José Serebrier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Leopold Stokowski.
The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (09/21/2004 - 09/23/2004) 

Sound Samples

St. John's Night on Bald Mountain, "A Night on the Bare Mountain" (arr. L. Stokowski)
Khovanshchina: Act IV: Entr'acte (arr. L. Stokowski)
Boris Godunov: A Symphonic Synthesis (arr. L. Stokowski): Boris Godunov: A Symphonic Synthesis (arr. L. Stokowski)
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Promenade
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): I. Gnomus
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Promenade
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): II. Il vecchio castello
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): IV. Bydlo
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): Promenade
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): V. Ballet of the Chickens in their Shells
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): VI. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): VII. Catacombae. Cum mortuis in Lingua mortua
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): IX. The Hut on Fowls' Legs, "Baba Yaga"
Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. L. Stokowski for orchestra): X. The Great Gate of Kiev
12 morceaux, Op. 10 (arr. L. Stokowski): Humoresque, Op. 10, No. 2 (trans. L. Stokowski)
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, "Pathetique": Solitude [Again, as before, alone], Op. 73, No. 6 (trans. L. Stokowski)
Traditional Slavic Christmas Music

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