Search - Bedrich Smetana, Camille Saint-Saens, Paul [composer] Dukas :: Virtuoso Organ Music

Virtuoso Organ Music
Bedrich Smetana, Camille Saint-Saens, Paul [composer] Dukas
Virtuoso Organ Music
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1


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What would Bach think of this?
John | USA | 09/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Although Pictures at an Exhibition is now recognized as a unique masterpiece, it was completely ignored during the composer's lifetime and only gradually gained a foothold in the European concert repertoire after 1920. For a long time it was considered to be unpianistic and extremely problematic on both musical and technical grounds. It is not surprising, then, that several orchestral transcriptions have been made; the best known being that by French composer Maurice Ravel (whose version was commissioned by Serge Koussevitsky for his Boston Symphony Orchestra). Although the work lends itself extremely well to skilful orchestration, an organ transcription would seem even more appropriate on the grounds that the keyboard origin of the piece is retained. In addition, a quasi-orchestral range of tonal colour is available, and the capacity for sustained tone - that unrivalled feature of the organ - outdoes both piano and orchestra in such numbers as Catacombae and The Great Gate of Kiev. Much of Mussorgsky's piano writing adapts well to the organ with but little modification, and at no point does one feel that the musical requirements are in the least foreign to the essential nature of the instrument.As for this recording, "Virtuoso Organ Music" I can say nothing of it paticularly for I have not heard this paticular version at this time...However, I highly recommend an organ transcription of "Pictures" for it's dynamic range and the added value of the organ's sustained tone on such key movements as "Baba Yaga" or the prolific "Great Gates Of Kiev". I own 3 organ recordings of Moussorgsky's "Pictures" and they all are remarkable. Thus, I give this recording 4 stars."