Paavo Jarvi and The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Paint Vivid Musical Pictures On All-Mussorgsky Disc
Järvi’s fourteenth Telarc recording features Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on Bald Mountain, and Prelude to Khovanshchina
The fourteenth Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Telarc recording with Music Director Paavo Järvi is an all-Mussorgsky disc, to be released September 23, 2008 in CD and SACD formats. The repertoire includes the composer’s colorful Pictures at an Exhibition and the mystical Night on Bald Mountain, and closes with the serene Prelude to Khovanshchina. Modest Mussorgsky is one of the best known and most beloved Russian composers.
“There is something about the way the line moves in Mussorgsky’s music that reminds you of Russian character and language,” said CSO Music Director Paavo Järvi. “His music has real depth and color.”
The latest Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra release on Telarc features Maurice Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Mussorgsky originally composed the work for piano following the untimely death of his friend, artist and designer Victor Hartmann. As part of the grieving process, he visited an exhibition of Hartmann’s artwork and each of the piece’s ten movements represents a different painting. Ravel’s celebrated orchestration of the work premiered in October 1922.
“I have always wanted to record Pictures at Exhibition,” said Järvi. “There’s a good reason it has become one of the best known pieces in the world… It’s such an irresistible concept – walking from one painting to another and describing not only what you’re seeing, but the whole promenade experience of walking from frame to frame. This work is full of color.”
The CD opens with Mussorgsky’s wildly popular Night on Bald Mountain, as orchestrated by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Generations have grown up hearing this thrilling tone poem based on a witches’ sabbath in Walt Disney’s classic cartoon film, Fantasia. “It is unmistakingly Russian…moody and very atmospheric,” said Järvi. “Night on Bald Mountain is a fairy tale…Russian composers of the time were drawn to the philosophical fairy tale… to the supernatural…”
This all-Mussorgsky recording closes with the Prelude to Khovanshchina (Dawn on the Moscow River), another Mussorgsky work lushly arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov.