In April 1979, RL gave something of a rave review to the HMV Mussorgsky Pictures by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Muti on ASD3645. Now Decca offer a no less vivid recording by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The digital technique offers exceptional brilliance and clarity and the famous Chicago brass makes an overwhelming entry in "Catacombs" and provides the most spectacular climax in "The Great Gate of Kiev" which Solti draws out spaciously at the end. There are many effective points of detail. The 'cheeping' chicks always come off well on disc but the skilfulness of Ravel's scoring is revealed here with almost X-ray precision. The tuba solo in "The hut on fowl's legs" and the saxophone in "The OldRead more Castle" are given presence without an exaggerated balance. Solti lays out each pictorial ization clearly and perhaps slightly didactically. There is no humour in the portrait of Goldenberg and Schmuyle, the lower strings less portentous and gruff than in some accounts. As sound this is in the top flight, but there are more imaginative, indeed more genial versions available. The orchestra is no less impressive in Le tombeau de Couperin, although I thought that the opening "Prelude" sounded just a fraction too fast. The oboist plays nimbly, and the wind playing generally is delightful in the "Forlane" and "Minuet".
-- Ivan March, Gramophone [12/1980, reviewing the original LP release] Read less
Works on This Recording
Le tombeau de Couperinby Maurice Ravel Conductor:
Sir Georg Solti
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1914-1917; orch. 191; France
Best ever of the "Pictures .... "April 9, 2013By William V. (Arlington, MA)See All My Reviews"I heard this recording on WCRB 99.5 in the Boston area and HAD to have it. It was mesmerizing! An astonishing and emotional interpretation. Loved it!"Report Abuse
Looking forward to thisDecember 31, 2011By Sebastian James (Evanston, IL)See All My Reviews"Back in the day, we wore this album out. It is an outstanding digital recording that is very difficult to find. Not in iTunes, not on Amazon. I'm not expecting the sound quality to match that of vinyl. But it should beat the 192kb mp3 that I managed to find. Can't wait to rip in in Apple Lossless, or 320 so I can enjoy--AND have a physical backup copy!"Report Abuse
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