Author Topic: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano  (Read 5521 times)

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Offline nigeld

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Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« on: January 31, 2008, 08:37:24 AM »
I listened to this piece last night.  Barry Douglas rec 1987 ish.  Had forgotten how much I'd enjoyed it.  Anyone care to recommend an alternative recording or is Douglas as good as it gets?

Remember, piano only

thanks

Soli Deo Gloria

MN Dave

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 08:38:55 AM »
You probably want the Sofia Richter.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2008, 08:50:46 AM »
I have Kissin, which I like very much, but I haven't heard many others.  I would think the Richter would be excellent.

--Bruce
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2008, 09:06:26 AM »
I've own the Ashkenazy performance (both piano & orchestral versions on same disc) for years (have not listened to it recently nor have I really explored other piano interpretations) - there are some well considered comments on Amazon - CLICK the image, if interested; the few negatives relate to the sound quality of older recordings, which does not seem to be an issue for most of those leaving an opinion -  :)


Offline MishaK

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2008, 09:30:13 AM »
I've own the Ashkenazy performance (both piano & orchestral versions on same disc) for years (have not listened to it recently nor have I really explored other piano interpretations) - there are some well considered comments on Amazon - CLICK the image, if interested; the few negatives relate to the sound quality of older recordings, which does not seem to be an issue for most of those leaving an opinion -  :)



This is my top choice as well. The orchestral version, BTW, is Ashkenazy's own orchestration, which provides a compelling, more convincingly "Russian" alternative to the commonly performed Ravel version. I was disappointed with some odd phrasings, tempo and dynamic choices by Richter. Kissin I have not heard yet.

Offline carlos

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 02:10:21 PM »
IMHO, Horowitz live recording in 1950 is not only the best
Pictures ever done, but one of the greatest piano recordings of all time.
Piantale a la leche hermano, que eso arruina el corazón! (from a tango's letter)

MN Dave

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2008, 02:26:00 PM »
IMHO, Horowitz live recording in 1950 is not only the best
Pictures ever done, but one of the greatest piano recordings of all time.

I think I have that. I should give it another listen.

BorisG

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2008, 08:10:40 PM »
Pogorelich, Pletnev.

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2008, 06:41:12 AM »
The classic performances have already been mentioned: Richter (Sofia live) is damn close to definitive IMO, but to be kind the sound is less than great. The Horowitz (Carnegie Hall live, NOT the studio version) is on the same level. At some point, you should hear both.

Beyond these, and presuming you'd actually prefer both excellent performance AND good sound, I would recommend Byron Janis on Mercury.

I'll also mention William Kapell. The one most people know is his live Frick recital, on RCA CD, and it's very much worth hearing. However, he was also recorded doing the piece on his last concert tour in Australia, just before his death (1953). I have this on private LP, but have never seen it available on CD. The sound is abysmal but the performance is both insightful and haunting.

Cheers,

Dirk

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 08:39:19 AM »
I have Kissin, which I like very much, but I haven't heard many others.  I would think the Richter would be excellent.

--Bruce

I've noticed the Kissin version showing up in used CD venues with some frequency, but haven't sampled it. Does it have any particular strengths, weaknesses or attractions that enquiring minds should know? Anyone?

Offline Brewski

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2008, 08:51:02 AM »
It's been awhile since I've heard it (since I much prefer the full orchestral version), so I should try to listen again before commenting.  I recall being a bit surprised.  (But maybe my expectations were low, since I'm generally not a huge Kissin fan.)

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Todd

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2008, 09:21:11 AM »
Janis and Pogorelich.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline MishaK

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2008, 09:22:08 AM »
The classic performances have already been mentioned: Richter (Sofia live) is damn close to definitive IMO, but to be kind the sound is less than great.

But he makes such odd interpretive choices that don't really jive with the text.

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2008, 11:49:58 AM »
But he makes such odd interpretive choices that don't really jive with the text.

OK, poor choice of words. My bad. I hereby retract my "definitive" comment and substitute "awe-inspiring." At least, it inspired awe in me the first time I heard it.

This is also probably a good time for a disclaimer update: I have no right to comment on the technical accuracy or literal interpretation of any music because, as I've mentioned before, I don't read music, I just listen to it. Admittedly, I listen to it a LOT and I've been doing that for, oh, 'bout 30 years or so...which is why I natter on about various versions of stuff I love and occasionally voice strong opinions. But nope, I'm lucky to be able to remember the difference between a bass clef and a treble clef. So whether I remember to add it to my posts or not, folks, the only thing I know is what I like. YMMV and probably will. And your opinion is INFINITELY more important to your musical enjoyment than mine ever will be.
 ;D

Dirk
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 11:54:23 AM by dirkronk »

Offline Holden

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 11:53:50 AM »
The Douglas recording is excellent and while there may be better, it will not be by much. If I wanted an alternative I would choose from:

Ashkenazy

Richter - Sofia is best interpretation but not best sound. Get the "Philips 50" edition if you can find it

Kapell - Frick recital
Cheers

Holden

Offline Timmyb

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2008, 05:15:04 PM »
I was impressed by Kissin's live performance on youtube.Worth checking out anyway.

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2008, 09:04:04 PM »
I'm in kind of a rut in my collecting these days, and I have been buying more jazz than anything else. It's OK, I don't mind saving the money.

In any case, I've been listening to Richter's famous 1958 Sofia recital, and wondering what other good recordings of Pictures are out there. I suppose this one is the 500 lb gorilla of Pictures recordings, but I would like to hear what's been done in more recent recordings with better sound quality. Has Scherbakov recorded this? What about Sokolov? Any other offerings I should look into? thanks.

If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 10:50:14 PM »
FWIW, there are better recorded Richter Pictures (much better, actually) which are just as worthwhile interpretively. Unfortunately they're OOP. One is on Praga (1956), the other on Music & Arts (1958).

That out of the way, you might try Pogorelich's Pictures on DG, only be prepared for slow tempos in places. Bydlo threatens to grind to a halt from an incredibly slow pace but ultimately finds its bearings by sheer force of Pogorelich's will. Good sound, too.

Mustonen (Decca) is another one I like - and is ten minutes swifter than Pogorelich! Sadly, it's OOP.


 
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Holden

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 12:08:18 AM »
There are three I'd recommend after Richter

This is a classic performance recorded after his win in  the Tchaikovsky Competition



..and this one takes a lot of beating but apparently his Aussie recital beats this hands down. he died on the plane trip home




But this really made me sit up and listen. The pianist takes liberties but he gets away with it. I love it and 'Bydlo' is perfect if you've ever seen the Hartmann picture.

Cheers

Holden

Drasko

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Re: Pictures at an Exhibition - just the piano
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2008, 07:16:52 AM »
Pogorelich and Janis.

Is anyone familiar with Moiseiwitsch live performance on Pearl? His earlier studio recording is nice but cut in few places (Old Castle and Great Gate of Kiev) in order to fit the 78 sides. I'm presuming live is uncut?
How is that two CD set in general if anyone has it, I'm thinking about getting it but it is rather expensive (like two fullpriced CDs) and couldn't find no reviews online at all.