- Moments Musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16
- Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for piano
Written early in his compositional career, Rachmaninov's "Six Moments Musicaux" nonetheless show the breadth of what the virtuoso performer and composer was to offer later in his career. The six miniatures highlight two basic moods: melancholy and restlessness. Pianist Lilya Zilberstein brilliantly captures both of these characters. Her recorded sound is quite pleasing. Clear but round left hand work, never muddied by an overuse of the pedal, accompanies a facile and articulate right hand. At all times, every note is clearly distinguishable, even in the highly frenetic Presto fourth movement. Her performance is not only highly technical but intimate and thoughtful, making these six miniatures not just virtuoso showpieces, but true works of art that listeners are sure to enjoy. It seems that pianists have a significant hurdle to overcome when performing Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." That is, many listeners are more likely familiar with the Ravel orchestration of this popular work than the original solo piano version. Some pianists may find it difficult to live up to the color palate and grandeur of a full symphony orchestra. Zilberstein certainly comes close, but her performance still comes across as a little bit sterile and metronomic. While technically still a commanding performance, it fails to deliver the level of excitement and intrigue as her very satisfying Rachmaninov.