Byron Janis / Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra – Pictures At An Exhibition (Mercury Living Presence / Speakers Corner, 2LP – 33/45rpm, 180g pressing)


# Composer: Modest Moussorgsky
# Orchestra: Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Antal Dorati
# Performer: Byron Janis
# Vinyl (1959 / 1961 / 2005)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 12
# Label: Mercury Living Presence / Speakers Corner
# Size: 1.41GB (24/96) + 357MB (16/44.1)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Server: RS, FF


This two-LP set includes as a very special bonus the piano-only version of Pictures at an Exhibition cut at 45 RPM. This is how this work was originally composed though no recording of that performance has previously been released on vinyl. The full symphonic version of Pictures at an Exhibition is cut here at 33 1/3.

Modest Moussorgsky’s musical picture gallery has always been one of the most popular works ever heard in concert halls all over the world. Originally written for the piano, the unsuccessful composer never heard the work in all its symphonic glory, although many of his contemporaries had often been tempted to arrange his works. As early as 1891, ten years after his death, Mikhail Tushmalov – a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov – presented a first version. However, it is Maurice Ravel’s orchestral version from 1922 that remains unsurpassed to this day. His arrangement amalgamates the original force and angularity of the piano with the brilliance of a modern orchestra.

The transparent and powerful performance by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra is complemented by an equally fascinating version from one of Mercury’s main pianists, Byron Janis. In listening to the two interpretations one after the other it becomes clear as to how closely Ravel remained true to the original version while still managing to imbue his genial orchestral version with his own tonal conception. The solo piano recording, released for the first time on vinyl, will certainly be of special interest to record collectors.

Track List:

Pictures At An Exhibition (solo piano)
01 – Promenade
02 – Gnomus
03 – Promenade
04 – Il Vecchio Castle
05 – Promenade
06 – Tuileries
07 – Bydlo
08 – Promenade
09 – Ballet Of The Chicks In Their Shells
10 – Two Polish Jews, One Rich, The Other Poor
11 – Limoges, The Marke Place
12 – Catacombe (Sepulcrum Romanum)
13 – Cum Mortuis In Lingua Mortua
14 – The Hut On Fowl’s Legs (Baba-Yaga)
15 – Tne Great Gates Of Kiev

Pictures At An Exhibition
16 – Promenade
17 – Gnomus
18 – Promenade
19 – Il Vecchio Castle
20 – Promenade
21 – Tuileries
22 – Bydlo
23 – Promenade
24 – Ballet Des Poussins Dans Leurs Coques
25 – Samuel Goldenberg And Schmuyle
26 – Limoges – Le Marché
27 – Catacombae (Sepulcrum Romanum)
28 – Cum Mortuis In Lingua Mortua
29 – La Cabane Sur Des Pattes De Poule
30 – La Grande Porte De Kiev

Two Exceprts from “Khovanshchina”
31 – Prelude
32 – Dance of the Persian Slaves


Tracks 01-15 recorded September 1961 in Ballroom Studio A at Fine Recording, New York, by C.R. Fine / Production: Wilma Cozart
Tracks 16-32 recorded April 1959 at Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN

Piano – Byron Janis (tracks: 1 to 15)
Orchestra – Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (tracks: 16 to 32)
Conductor – Antal Dorati (tracks: 16 to 32)
Arranged By [Orchestrated By] – Maurice Ravel (tracks: 16 to 30)
Composed By – Modest Moussorgsky (all tracks)
Edited By – Mark Bücker
Edited By [Assistant] – Andrew Wedman
Engineer [Chief Engineer] – C. Robert Fine
Engineer [Associate Engineer] – Robert Eberenz
Mastered By – Andrew Nicholas
Producer [Recording Director] – Wilma Cozart

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5
Shure V15VxMR
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only)


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