Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (FLAC)
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (FLAC)

Composer: Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
Orchestra: Prager Philarmonischer Chor, Berliner Philarmoniker
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 271 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Night On Bald Mountain
02. The Destruction Of Sennacherib
03. Salammbo
04. Oedipus In Athens
05. Joshua
06. Pictures At An Exhibition – Promenade
07. Pictures At An Exhibition – Gnomus
08. Pictures At An Exhibition – Promenade
09. Pictures At An Exhibition – The Old Castle
10. Pictures At An Exhibition – The Tuileries Gardens
11. Pictures At An Exhibition – Bydlo
12. Pictures At An Exhibition – Promenade
13. Pictures At An Exhibition – Ballet Of The Chickens In Their Shells
14. Pictures At An Exhibition – Ballet Of The Chickens In Their Shells
15. Pictures At An Exhibition – The Market-Place At Limoges
16. Pictures At An Exhibition – The Catacombs (Sepulchrum Romanum)
17. Pictures At An Exhibition – Cum Mortuis In Lingua Mortua
18. Pictures At An Exhibition – The Hut On Fowl’s Legs (Baba-Yaga)
19. Pictures At An Exhibition – The Great Gate Of Kiev

The definitive take on a real treasure!

I knew little about Mussorgsky before buying this album, except for his “Night on Bald Mountain”, which I had heard conducted by Karajan. I settled on this version – conducted by Abbado – after comparing Abbado and Karajan’s versions of the finale to Wagner’s Parsifal: Karajan’s sound is slick with a solid tempo, but lacks the emotional power and power of Abbado’s. The same can be said of Night.

This disc is a beautiful collage of stand-alone pieces by Mussorgsky, also including his “Pictures at an Exhibition”. The later is interesting, recalling the folk-inspired pieces of Dvorak and Bartok. But the stand-alone pieces are the real gems, the titular Night soars, but the more ethereal The Destruction Of Sennacherib and joyful Joshua will stay in your memories, and Abbado imbues both with emotion and a tinge of sadness that will haunt you long after the music ends.

This CD made me fall in love with Mussorgsky, and led me to his other works (including Boris Godunov, also conducted superbly by Abbado). This CD will make me forgive maestro Abbado almost anything. A window into a fascinating world.

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