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Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, etc.
     

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, etc.

by Evgeny Kissin
 
It was probably inevitable that Evgeny Kissin would record Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgsky's vivid, virtuosic homage to his friend, the painter Victor Hartmann. The work has always been central to the repertory of Russian-born pianists, such as Horowitz, Richter,

Overview

It was probably inevitable that Evgeny Kissin would record Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgsky's vivid, virtuosic homage to his friend, the painter Victor Hartmann. The work has always been central to the repertory of Russian-born pianists, such as Horowitz, Richter, Ashkenazy, and Pletnev, but Kissin's interpretation turns out to be surprisingly original. He plays "The Market-place at Limoges" with coruscating brilliance, and his portrait of Baba-Yaga is marvelously macabre. But the slower pictures, like "The Old Castle," are unexpectedly leisurely and rhythmically free. Sometimes, as at the end of "Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle," he seems to have the weighty symphonic sonority of Ravel's well-known orchestration in his ear. Of course, Kissin has that rare ability to make the piano sound like just about any instrument, and in Bach's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue (arranged by Busoni), he evokes the massive, majestic sounds of a great church organ like no other pianist before him. It is, in some ways, the most impressive performance on the record -- one that captures the warm rays of sunshine when the Toccata finally finds its rhythmic footing (around 2'30" into Track 1) and that realizes the complex lines of the Fugue with breathtaking clarity. Balakirev's arrangement of Glinka's song "The Lark" that follows is delicate and charming, but it pales when heard after the Bach.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2002
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0090266388424
catalogNumber:
63884
Rank:
9201

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