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Pictures at an Exhibition / Sleeping Beauty5
Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Pletnev
Pictures at an Exhibition / Sleeping Beauty5
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Pletnev
Title: Pictures at an Exhibition / Sleeping Beauty5
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: EMI Classics Imports
Release Date: 11/28/2000
Genre: Classical
Styles: Ballets & Dances, Ballets, Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Suites, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 077775961126

CD Reviews

Picture this!
Christopher P. Dunn | The Aloha State | 05/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mikhail Pletnev (pronounced "Pletnyof") has been astonishing listeners for years, since winning the 1978 Tchiakovsky Competition. Nonetheless, he is a little-known secret in the piano world, due in part to his performing hiatus during his 10yr tenure as conductor of the Russian National Orchestra (which is another astonishing accomplishment).Although Pletnev is now returning to the stage as a soloist (see his recently issued Carnegie Hall recital on DG), this disc of Mussorgsky and a Tchaikovksy trascription was originally issued in 1991. Most of us know Mussorgsky's "Pictures From An Exhibition" thanks to Ravel's orchestration; however, it was written for piano. Richter and others have recorded the original piano version, but none has come anywhere close to the profundity that Pletnev achieves. Sure, he plays the notes like anyone else, but the depth of feeling, the humor, the darkness, and the color that he conveys is simply astounding.Listen to the subtleties in "Tuileries," to the dark terror in "Hut on Hen's Legs," and to the extraordinary grandeur of the finale, "The Hero's Gate at Kiev." The wonderful thing about Pletnev is that he astonishes, not by being flashy and flip, but by plumbing the depths of the composition. He is conveying music, not his ego. And in this day and age, a brilliant pianist, who is nonetheless humble, is also a cause for celebration! I promise: if you listen to this recording, you will never listen again to the orchestral version! Who needs orchestration, when Pletnev provides all the color and transparency in the world?Now, on to Tchaikovsky. It is quite clever of Pletnev to program "Pictures" in its original piano version (almost a "reverse transcription," given the popularity of the Ravel), then to provide a piano transcription of excerpts of the orchestral "Sleeping Beauty." His transcription is brilliant. He paints a picture of the ballet and its story line as beautifully as did Mussorgsky."Pictures" is a walk through an exhibition of fixed paintings (hence the intervening Promenades to carry us from picture to picture), whereas "Sleeping Beauty" is acted in front of us, the fixed audience. Believe me when I say, that being fixed, or transfixed, is exactly how you will feel upon listening to this startling performance."
Worth importing from Europe
Joshua Appel | Peshastin, WA United States | 07/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

".... I have never heard the Pictures played like this by anyone, the depth and continuity of Pletnev's interpretation is still staggering to me. From FFF to PPP Pletnev evokes an astounding array of colors from his instrument (listen especially the to end of Bydlo)- it is truly symphonic pianism. The transcriptions from the Sleeping Beauty are equally astonishing (even better than his transcriptions from the Nutcracker Suite). Pletnev's attention to detail, understanding of nuance, dynamics, and fire simply overwhelm the listener. The bottom line is that this cd is indispensable - buy it before you have to sail the seven seas to get it."
Colin C. Brash | Claremont, NH USA | 03/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Pletnev does a truly incredible job playing both Mussorgsky's and Tchaikovsky's pieces. I am borrowing this from a friend at the moment, and will immediately get my own copy as soon as he realizes I still have it..."