Reiner / CSO ‎– Pictures at an Exhibition (200g, Analogue Productions)

# Composers: Modest Moussorgsky, Maurice Ravel
# Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Fritz Reiner
# Vinyl (1957 / 2013)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 13
# Label: Analogue Productions / RCA Living Stereo | AAPC 2201 / LSC-2201
# Size: 24/96kHz (730MB) and 16/44.1 (177MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory / File Post

Another outstanding Living Stereo release from Analogue Productions…


Another sonic and musical blockbuster from the unbeatable combo of Reiner and RCA (and Mohr & Layton). Recorded in 1957 at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall; the original analog session tapes were used in mastering for LPs (and SACDs). Moussorgsky’s inspiration for Pictures was the death of his dear friend, the architect and visual artist Victor Hartman. Having died at age 39, Hartman had not yet had the opportunity to realize any of his architectural visions, and Mussorgsky was angered that his friend would have no legacy. The Architects’ Society arranged an exhibition of some of Hartman’s sketches — some of architecture, others of characters or scenes from everyday life. The tribute was enough to give Mussorgsky ideas for his composition, but not enough to give Hartman any lasting place in history. Today, of all of the sketches that were captured in music, only six can be positively identified.

The piece is known today primarily through the orchestral version created by Maurice Ravel in 1922. In fact, the work had already been orchestrated multiple times, by a variety of lesser names. Some conductors today find that Ravel’s version, in spite of its color, sacrifices some of the coarse nature inherent in Moussorgsky’s piano original. Furthermore, Ravel worked from Rimsky-Korsakov’s edited version of the piano part — the only one available at the time — which changed some notes and rhythms.

None of the orchestrations, however, change the fundamental spirit of the piece. Moussorgsky imagines himself making his way down the hallway that showcased his late friend’s work, with his stately procession represented by the Promenade that opens the piece and returns several times. Upon stopping at each image, he reflects on what he sees. Between the early movements, the promenade returns regularly, as Moussorgsky is conscious of moving from one scene to the next. As the work progresses, however, he becomes less aware of the interval between pictures, and more immersed in the continuous psychological experience of moving from one state of mind to the next. By the end, the composer sees himself transformed by the connection with Hartman through his visual expressions of Russian pride and humanity.

Track listing

Side One
Pictures at an Exhibition – Part One
a) Promenade
b) Gnomus
c) Promenade
d) Il Vecchio Castello
e) Promenade
f) Tuileries
g) Bydlo
h) Promenade
i) Ballet Of The Chicks In Their Shells
j) Samuel Goldenburg und Schmuyle

Side Two
Pictures at an Exhibition – Part Two
k) The Market Place At Limoges
l) Catacombae, Sepulchrum Romanum
m) Con Mortuis In Lingua Mortua
n) The Hut On Fowl’s Legs
o) The Great Gate Of Kiev

For more details, click here.

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio ResoMat
Audio Technica AT33PTG/II
AVID Pellar preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX2

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