TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Classical
2015 Stereophile Magazine Record to Die For!
RCA Living Stereo 180 Gram Vinyl!
Remastered and Cut at 33 1/3 rpm by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound!
Cut From Original Analog Session Master Tapes!
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings & Plated by Gary Salstrom!
RCA Living Stereo classical LPs - the gold standard for top quality orchestral performance and sound!
"The interpretation is lively, refined, and subtle, but bombastic when it needs to be. At times, Reiner could make the CSO swing. I hear wider dynamic contrasts, sense of drama, deeper bass, and more clearly delineated room sound... When I spun them [Analogue Productions RCA Living Stereo 180g LP reissues], I was floored. After comparing them to early shaded-dog pressings of the same recordings, I felt the only area in which the originals were still superior was the subtle, additional layer of air and sparkle in the highs (master-tape age, perhaps?). But the reissues' quality and extension of bass and high-level dynamic contrasts were superior. And the surfaces of the new pressings are so quiet they let each subtle midrange detail emerge from a "black" background. At times, the background is so silent I have to do a double take to verify that the needle is still in the groove and the platter is still turning." - Robert J. Reina, 2015 Stereophile Magazine Record to Die For!
Another sonic and musical blockbuster from the unbeatable combo of Reiner and RCA (and Mohr & Layton). Recorded in 1957 at Chicago's Orchestra Hall; the original analog session tapes were used in mastering for this LP in the Analogue Productions reissue series. Mussorgsky's inspiration for Pictures 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.
• 180g Vinyl 33 1/3rpm
• Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
• Plated by Gary Salstrom
• Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound
• Cut From Original Session Master Tapes
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conductor
Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) (Orch. Maurice Ravel)
Pictures At An Exhibition
4. Il Vecchio Castella
9. Ballet Of The Chicks In Their Shells
10. Samuel Goldenburg und Schmuyle
11. The Market Place At Limoges
12. Catacombae, Sepulchrum Romanum
13. Con Mortuis In Lingua Mortua
14. The Hut On Fowl's Legs
15. The Great Gate Of Kiev