Get this for Mussorgsky's original Night on Bald Mountain
Michael Schell | www.schellsburg.com | 03/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a CD of "concert favorites" with a curious twist. Amid the usual French warhorses of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Bolero, you'll find the original 1867 orchestral version of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain. You'll recognize the music, but every page is different from the Night on Bald Mountain that you know and love, and which was arranged and orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov's from a later variant that Mussorgsky intended to insert in his unfinished opera Sorochyntsi Fair. The version recorded here features Mussorgsky's original orchestration, and many of the secondary themes are different than in the later version. It also lacks the slow, soft ending. The later version in Rimsky's orchestration is arguably superior, and this version is almost incoherent in form. But it's still a fascinating listen.
The other works are given perfectly serviceable performances by Dmitri Kitayenko and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. But you should buy this CD to get the Mussorgsky. As I write this in early 2010, it's available cheap, and it's well worth it.