You can always count on Riccardo Muti to give a strong performance of popular works. His performance of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece is near the top. His tempi for the various “pictures” are right on. Muti’s performance is excellent and he has the sound to carry it off, but the reading does lack the oomph of others like Reiner and especially Ormandy (the earlier recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Columbia/Sony). Muti begins Pictures as though he is warming up, with the latter pictures much more highly charged than those in the first half. By the time he arrives at The Great Gate of Kiev he and the Philadelphia Orchestra are in full swing. It’s a top-notch performance.
Gennady Rozhdestvensky’s recordings of the “Polovetsian Dances” by Borodin and The “Capriccio Espagnole” by Rimsky-Korsakov are powerful and impeccable interpretations and good companions to Mussorgsky’s “pictures”.
Composer: Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin
Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris
Conductor: Riccardo Muti, Gennady Roshdestwensky
Number of discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 1.24 GB