Mussorgsky - Ravel - Pictures At An Exhibition - Reiner - Chicago Symphony Orchestra on 200g LP
RCA Living Stereo Series from Analogue Productions
25 Premier-Sounding Titles from RCA's Living Stereo Golden Era Available on 180g LP (Cut at 33 1/3) & Hybrid SACD (Most Will Be 3-Channel)
Remastered from the Original Session Tapes by Engineer Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound in New York
RCA's "golden age" was more like a "golden minute" - in a scant period, roughly from 1958 to 1963, the beginning of the stereo era - pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and midband illumination.
Another sonic and musical blockbuster from the unbeatable combo of Fritz Reiner and RCA (and Mohr & Layton) recorded in 1957 at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. Mussorgsky's inspiration for Pictures at an Exhibition was the death of his dear friend, the architect and visual artist Victor Hartman. Having died at age 39, Hartman had not yet had the opportunity to realize any of his architectural visions, and Mussorgsky was angered that his friend would have no legacy.
The Architects' Society arranged an exhibition of some of Hartman's sketches - some of architecture, others of characters or scenes from everyday life. The tribute was enough to give Mussorgsky ideas for his composition, but not enough to give Hartman any lasting place in history. Today, of all of the sketches that were captured in music, only six can be positively identified.
The piece is known today primarily through the orchestral version created by Maurice Ravel in 1922. In fact, the work had already been orchestrated multiple times, by a variety of lesser names. Some conductors today find that Ravel's version, in spite of its color, sacrifices some of the coarse nature inherent in Mussorgsky's piano original. Furthermore, Ravel worked from Rimsky-Korsakov's edited version of the piano part - the only one available at the time - which changed some notes and rhythms.
None of the orchestrations, however, change the fundamental spirit of the piece. Mussorgsky imagines himself making his way down the hallway that showcased his late friend's work, with his stately procession represented by the Promenade that opens the piece and returns several times. Upon stopping at each image, he reflects on what he sees. Between the early movements, the promenade returns regularly, as Mussorgsky is conscious of moving from one scene to the next. As the work progresses, however, he becomes less aware of the interval between pictures, and more immersed in the continuous psychological experience of moving from one state of mind to the next. By the end, the composer sees himself transformed by the connection with Hartman through his visual expressions of Russian pride and humanity.
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings and plated by Gary Salstrom. Packaged in the original tip-on jacket facsimiles that precisely duplicate the original cover art, including the "Living Stereo" logo, LSC numbers and "Shaded Dog" label. These reissues are designed from the mastering, to the cutting, to the pressing and packaging to be the finest RCA Living Stereo LPs ever reissued. These new versions are clearer than the originals and warmer and richer than past reissues!
"These are the best vinyl releases of RCA LPs I've yet heard." - Jonathan Valin / Executive Editor, The Absolute Sound
Composer – Modest Mussorgsky
Arrangement - Maurice Ravel
Conductor – Fritz Reiner
Orchestra – Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Mussorgsky - Ravel - Pictures At An Exhibition - Reiner - Chicago Symphony Orchestra Track Listing:
3. Il Vecchio Castella
8. Ballet Of The Chicks In Their Shells
9. Samuel Goldenburg and Schmuyle
10. The Market Place At Limoges
11. Catacombae, Sepulchrum Romanum
12. Con Mortuis In Lingue Mortua
13. The Hut On Fowl's Legs
14. The Great Gate Of Kiev