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Opera - Released September 6, 2019 | BIS

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In the 19th Century, Russian music was still dominated the Italian and French repertoires. But young composers were taking things in a new direction. In the face of westernisation, they were working to recreate an unbroken Russian thread, with folk melodies centre stage. In this vein, Modest Mussorgski created a synthesis of centuries-old Russian folk music and the musical language of Romanticism. His opera Boris Godunov exemplified this approach: every character has their own identifying theme, in the manner of the Wagnerian leitmotif, and the discourse exploits popular Russian idiom. The writing and the harmony have an impressive aloofness, which immediately stands out as Russian. The orchestration – and in particular the use of clocks in the second part of the prologue, or the coronation scene – corroborates this picture. Finally – and what is particularly salient in this version – is the vocality of this great score, which is eminently lyrical and follows the prosody of the language. The work's choral character – Varlaam's song at the tavern, for example, with choirs that chant the score – lends it a grandiose realism which never falls into the picturesque. Kent Nagano and the Gothenburg symphonic orchestra selected the original version of Boris Godunov, with a libretto that makes no concessions to generic convention – divided into seven tableaux. It was this uncompromising character that saw it so long censored, and reorchestrated by Rimski-Korsakov. The latter re-working made it possible for Boris to be performed, and, once it made it onto the lyrical stage, to win notoriety – and ultimately to be played today, in its original 1869 version by the young Alexander Tsymbaluk, with a touch of sadness, but perhaps not quite enough madness. Listeners will be delighted too by Mika Kares's excellent Pimen. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 11, 2009 | Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

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In this day and age, a compact disc with a playing time of 33:02 is more than a tad short, but what is here is stunning: an account of Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition that reveals the grandeur of the music in a performance of tremendous vitality and a recording of stupendous immediacy. Mariss Jansons finds things in this well-known score that most conductors miss -- details of articulation, phrasing and balance that often go unnoted -- and brings out the work's enormous variety of forms, moods, and colors. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam plays with its accustomed super virtuosity, reveling in overcoming the score's prodigious challenges with effortless panache. RCO Live's super audio recording captures everything in sound that puts the listener in the Concertgebouw about 10 rows back from the stage. But, really, only 33:02? Why not more Ravel or more Mussorgsky, a bit of Borodin or a slice of Stravinsky? What's here is inestimable, but it leaves the listener eager for more. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released December 2, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonic Music - Released January 20, 2017 | Berlin Classics

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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released August 22, 2018 | Sony Music Labels Inc.

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Solo Piano - Released January 12, 2015 | harmonia mundi

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Solo Piano - Released January 1, 1997 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Solo Piano - Released February 3, 2014 | Piano Classics

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released March 24, 2014 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released June 24, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Celestial Harmonies

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Classical - Released October 28, 2013 | Ina, musique(s)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1990 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1960 | Everest

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Brilliant Classics

Georgian pianist Nino Gvetadze made her debut at age six and since then has studied with several notable pianists. One of them is Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who thought enough of Gvetadze's talents that they appeared together in 2007, playing the four-hand version of Ravel's Ma mère l'oye; he also invited Gvetadze to play the Spoleto Festival. The following year Gvetadze won second place in the Franz Liszt Competition and completed this recording, Brilliant Classics' Nino Gvetadze: Mussorgsky. The recording was actually made under the aegis of the Young Pianist Foundation and released on the Brilliant Classics label; while outside Europe it may appear as a debut, it is actually the fourth CD that Gvetadze has made. She makes her home in the Netherlands. Not surprisingly, Pictures at an Exhibition is the main work on the disc. The recorded ambience is rather dry and Gvetadze emphasizes a clean line and accuracy over intensity; she does not bang out Mussorgsky's omnipresent left-hand octaves for affect but simply uses them to support the rest of the texture; while she may be Georgian her sensibility as pianist is French. Gvetadze also makes somewhat exploratory use of rubato effects in a piece where constant tempos are usually the norm; it adds an element of surprise to the performance, but does not illuminate the text. However, there are passages here and there of considerable beauty, particularly in her reading of "The Great Gate of Kiev." Gvetadze chooses her filler wisely, electing to fill out the other half of the disc with a selection of Mussorgsky's shorter piano pieces that remain little known in the West. This is where the album really comes alive; Gvetadze has a special affinity for these neglected works that are often dismissed as salon trivia, but she makes them sing. The qualities of restraint, poise, and balance that hold back some sections of Pictures at an Exhibition brings such underappreciated gems as A Tear and Méditation into the realm of masterworks. Nevertheless, there are still moments where Gvetadze holds back a bit too much, such as in the Fair Scene from Sorochintsï Fair, which survives in Mussorgsky's own piano arrangement, which is radically different from the version in the opera. Gvetadze is definitely a talent worth expecting good things from; indeed, French literature might seem a little more suited to her gifts, but as it is this is a decent recital with some measure of outstanding moments. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released December 1, 1991 | Decca Music Group Ltd.