An increasing number of recordings (Stokowski's characteristically daring transcription is available on Naxos 8.557645) now feature orchestrations of Mussorgsky's Pictures other than Ravel's popular warhorse (Naxos 8.555924). Leonard Slatkin's eclectic selection, some more outlandish than others, invites us to bask in the high spirits and ingenuity of no fewer than fifteen different composers. The Chinese pianist PENG PENG, who was fourteen at the time of this recording, has won many competitions, including first prize in the 2002 China National Youth Piano Competition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Every classical music lover should own a recording of the Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition as orchestrated by Ravel. While some may argue that his orchestration is too French for a Russian piece, it is still the most consistently satisfying of the many orchestrations out there. Beyond that, however, it is worth knowing that there are many other orchestrations of this piece out there (over 30 at last count--who knew?). Some of these were done while the Ravel version was under exclusive rights to the Boston Symphony (who commissioned it), a couple done before Ravel's, and many more done later. All of these have some interesting orchestration options on a movement or two, but don't seem to work as well as a whole. The solution? Well, in Leonard Slatkin's mind, the solution is to take one movement from many different orchestrators and create a complete version of Mussorgsky that way. On this CD he has compiled 18 different orchestrations (one brand new) into a...
Let's see, five stars. All due, all shining bright. (Mr. M and the other reviewers are so right about this one.)
One for the performers, natch. Hard to find very much mediocre or outright wrong, with Peng Peng the fourteen year old pianist making his disc debut, or with the Nashville Symphony under then Music Director Leonard Slatkin.
One star for producers and Naxos, who have yet another real tangible hit here (see Richard Strauss Alpine Symphony with Weimar, or both Liszt Piano Concertos with Nebolsin and Petrenko), despite some previous releases that missed their mark (such as the Richard Strauss Four Last Songs).
One star for the recording engineers who have used regular red book digital recording techniques to give us listeners a wide-frequency, solidly balanced disc with near-demonstration quality sound. This was recorded, Live, in 2007, in the Laura Turner Concert Hall, Nashville. Very good hall acoustics then. I guess this star gets shared...
A facetious title for this review, perhaps, but what could be more American than picking and choosing what you think to be the best from 15 different orchestrations of "Pictures"?
The result, however, is both good and bad. Good, because it serves as a sampler of a wide variety of different --and that most people have never heard-- takes on a familiar piece. Bad because the result feels like a collection of separate pieces-- even though Pictures is intrinsically an episodic work, when one person orchestrates the whole thing there is a unifying feel to it, it comes across as a whole. Here, there is no unifying feeling, and that makes for an unsatisfying experience.
It *is* valuable as a sampler, though. Ochoa's take on the opening Promenade has to be the loveliest version I have ever heard. Naoumoff's version of The Old Castle for piano and orchestra made me want to seek out a recording of the whole of his orchestration (with Naoumoff on piano and Blaschkow...
The authorised South African distributor of this product is under no obligation to honour the manufacture's guarantees/warranties or to provide after-sales service.
Please note that this item is imported from the USA, and is designed to be used in the USA. In addition, if the unit is powered it will come with a US plug and an adapter/transformer may be required. Please click here for more information on power requirements, or check with us if you are unsure or need any assistance!
Please also note that certain items cannot be imported, these include Alcohol, Animals, Batteries, Flammable Materials, Currency, Food, Furs, Chemicals, Explosives, Medications, Plants, Seeds, Supplements, Pressurized Cans, Tactical Equipment, Vitamins, Weaponry and Weaponry Accessories. In these cases, the item and information is displayed for reference purposes only. If you are not sure if we are permitted to bring an item, please send us an e-mail with a link to the item to confirm.
Please also ensure that you are ordering the correct item for your particular application as returns to the USA are costly. Product reviews are also provided for most of our items, which can give you a good idea for possible things to look out for and the quality of the item. By clicking Add to Cart, you are confirming that the item is correct and you accept the conditions listed here.