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  Naxos -
  Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on the Bare Mountain - Kuchar
  Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel), Night on the Bare Mountain (original and Rimsky-Korsakov versions)

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Theodore Kuchar (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 5 show all

Site review by Polly Nomial March 2, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:    
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by June 19, 2004 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Pictures at an Exhibition, (orch. Ravel)
Night on Bald Mountain, original and Rimsky's
Golitsin's Exile from Khovanchina
Hopak from Sorochinsky Fair
Naxos SACD $11.99 USD
(did you notice? $11.99?)

Wow. I didn't think I could get excited while listening to Pics at an Ex
ever again, but the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine turns in a
vivid performance. From the deliciously unhomogenized oboe, to the earthy
but warm strings, to the overly-earnest percussion was a
delight all the way through. (Don't tell anyone, but usually I move ahead
to the Hut and Gate.

One of the many striking moments was how splashy Ravel's writing for bells,
gong and cymbals sounds in the last quiet run before the final statement of
the Great Gate theme; it was an unusually colorful, intense and exciting
build up. The heaving string
writing in Bydlo comes off particulary sad and burdensome, as the cart
lumbers along. Lighter moments for winds are vividly characterized.

Had enough of Night on Bald Mountain? You get two versions here: Rimsky's
correction, and Mussy's original. I like both, though my favorite
alternative being the one with chorus, as it sounds the most errie of all.
(Abbado/Sony, I believe.) Kuchar and the Ukraine make them sound freshly-minted.

If you think you had no romance left for this music, it got me goin' again.

Once again the SACD recording, (I opted for the 2-channel layer),
intoxicates the ear in a way that PCM never did for me, though I never would
have known when PCM was all there was. "Relaxed" is the best way I could
decribe the sound, for what it's worth. While I've read that Naxos' recordings with the Russian National Orchestra have been hit and miss, this one's up there with the best of them: vivid, warm, huge soundstage and just the right amount of reverberance. I look forward to hearing this in multi-channel.

John Smyth
Sac, CA

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Review by mandel October 31, 2004 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Agree wholeheartedly with so just want to add about the Multichannel version. This is astounding and took away my worries that cheaper label SACDs might not be all that they could be. The use of surrounds is subtle but the soundstage is vast and so natural sounding, with instruments not only seeming to be panned left to right in front of you but some further away than others. I must admit to being new to classical SACD but this just simply blew me away!

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Works: 2  

Modest Mussorgsky - A Night on the Bare Mountain
Modest Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Ravel)