Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition (original piano version & Ravel orchestration) | Brilliant Classics 94931BR

Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition (original piano version & Ravel orchestration)

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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 94931BR

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Release Date: 22nd September 2014



Mussorgsky’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition' is one of the most famous and most frequently performed romantic piano cycles of the entire repertoire. It contains colourful, highly original and gripping musical depictions of a series of painting by Mussorgsky’s friend Hartmann - the menacing and evil Gnomus, the mysterious Old Castle, the frolicsome chicks just out of the egg, quarrelling children, the busy marketplace full of chattering women, and then moving into more sinister regions of the Catacomb (“with the Dead in the language of the Dead”), the brutal force and terror of the witch Baba Yaga, culminating in the glorious Great Gate of Kiev.

This work is so rich and 'picturesque' that it is hard to resist making an orchestral arrangement of it, and several composers wrote their own orchestration, the most famous of which being the one by Maurice Ravel (a master orchestrator). Nevertheless, the piano score leaves ample opportunity to trigger the creativity of the pianist, and the interpretation by Russian pianist Alexander Warenberg is one of great imagination and authority.

This release offers both the original piano version and the Ravel orchestration, filled up with the orchestral A Night on Bare Mountain and the more modest, but no less impressive piano cycle by Tchaikovsky - The Seasons.

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