Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, etc.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, etc.

by Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
     
 

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Valery Gergiev continues to cement his status as the leading conductor of Russian classics with this program of popular works by Mussorgsky. Pictures at an Exhibition, the composer's homage to the artist Victor Hartmann in the well-known orchestral arrangement by Ravel, takes pride of place, and true to form, Gergiev elicits aSee more details below

Overview

Valery Gergiev continues to cement his status as the leading conductor of Russian classics with this program of popular works by Mussorgsky. Pictures at an Exhibition, the composer's homage to the artist Victor Hartmann in the well-known orchestral arrangement by Ravel, takes pride of place, and true to form, Gergiev elicits a powerfully dynamic, sharply drawn performance from the Vienna Philharmonic. "Gnomus" is intense and angular, while "Il vecchio castello" is delicately atmospheric. He shapes "Bydlo" into a demonic dance; "Catacombae" is starkly expansive, and "La Cabane sur des pattes de poule" has never sounded so close to Stravinsky, almost brutal in its driving energy. But it's in the concluding "Le grande porte de Kiev" where Gergiev really pulls out all the stops; it's as splendid and thrilling a performance as seems possible, and the Vienna players rise to meet his challenge. The program continues with three shorter works: The Prelude to Kovashchina (orchestrated by Dmitri Shostakovich) gives the Vienna's rich string sound a chance to shine; Rimsky-Korsakov's arrangement of "Night on a Bare Mountain" (made famous by Disney's Fantasia) is as weirdly menacing as ever, and the short, Tchaikovsky-esque "Gopak" (from the opera Sorochintsy Fair) ends the program on an lighter note. The Kirov Orchestra is Gergiev's more usual haunt, so it's a pleasure to hear him joined again with the Vienna Philharmonic. (Their recording of Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, released in 1999, won accolades from critics.) But really, wherever Gergiev goes, fireworks are sure to follow.

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Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Edward Greenfield
This is a larger-than-life reading of Mussorgsky's Pictures.... with fast, brilliant movements dazzlingly well played, and with the speed bringing an edge of the seat feeling.... the "Great Gate of Kiev" [is] shattering in its weight and thrust.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/14/2002
Label:
Philips
UPC:
0028946852620
catalogNumber:
468526
Rank:
91175

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for orchestra, orchestrated by Ravel  - Modest Mussorgsky  -  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  - Clive Bennett  - Valery Gergiev
  2. Khovanshchina, opera in 5 acts, edited by Shostakovich: Prelude  - Modest Mussorgsky  -  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  - Clive Bennett  - Valery Gergiev
  3. St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain (Ivanova noch' na Lisoy gore), symphonic poem for orchestra  - Modest Mussorgsky  -  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  - Clive Bennett  - Valery Gergiev
  4. Gopak (Hopak), for orchestra, transcribed by Liadov from the opera Sorochintsï Fair  - Modest Mussorgsky  -  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  - Clive Bennett  - Valery Gergiev

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