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MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition – The Mariinsky Label

MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition

'Essential listening. Mindblowing performances.' Herald Scotland

**** 'Here’s something full of riches… Songs and Dances of Death, sung with unsettling resonance and beauty by Ferruccio Furlanetto.' Sinfini Music

**** ‘A particularly rich and detailed performance of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and a truly opulent Night on Bare Mountain.’ Pizzicato

  • Ferruccio Furlanetto bass

    Valery Gergiev conductor
    Mariinsky Orchestra

  • Total duration 64m57s

    Catalogue number MAR0553
    UPC 822231855323

    Vladimir Ryabenko Producer
    (Pictures at an Exhibition & Night on Bald Mountain)
    James Mallinson Producer
    (Songs and Dances of Death)
    Vladimir Ryabenko
    Engineering, Editing, Mixing & Mastering

    Recorded June & October 2014 in the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg.

    Includes multi-channel 5.0 and stereo mixes Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке

  • Performance ***** (Songs and Dances)
    **** (Pictures; Night on Bare Mountain) Recording ****
    'The playing here is poised, uninflated, and vividly characterised... The major appeal of this release is an exceptional interpretation of the Songs and Dances of Death by Ferrucio Furlanetto. His mellow-toned Italian bass, projected with superlative line and diction, offers a fine alternative to the heavy vocal artillery of Russian tradition... Excellently clear recorded sound enhances a release of real and anti-routine quality.'
    BBC Music Magazine

    Sound 10 Interpretation 10 ‘The precision that results from constant listening between the musicians make this record, we believe, one of the best of the year. The Mariinsky transcends the music and makes it "alive".’
    Crescendo Magazine

    ****½ ‘Fans of Valery Gergiev and his robust interpretations of Russian classics will be enthralled by this hybrid SACD of music by Modest Mussorgsky...’
    All Music

    **** 'Here’s something full of riches… The centrepiece is Songs and Dances of Death, sung with unsettling resonance and beauty by Ferruccio Furlanetto in the Shostakovich scoring, as chilling as a marble mausoleum… Gergiev does a great job of defamiliarising this great tone poem (Night on Bare Mountain)'
    Sinfini Music

    **** ‘The visual dimension, grand and glittering, leads us into the splendour of ancient Russia.’

    Recording **** Performance **** ‘The Mariinsky Theater concert hall in St. Petersburg proves to be the perfect venue for this music to shine with the engineering creating a realistic picture and right amount of ambience that really allows the “Tuileries” to shine… The sound here is simply amazing being enhanced by the expanded range in this hybrid SACD release.’

    ***** ‘Valery Gergiev combines his atmospherically incredibly dense version of ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Modest Mussorgsky with his first recording of ´A Night on Bald Mountain’, whose original instrumentation the Mariinsky Orchestra unfurls with all its edges and colours, and Ferrucio Furlanetto’s darkly thunderous performance of the ‘Songs and Dances of Death’. Kultur

    **** ‘A particularly rich and detailed performance of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and a truly opulent Night on Bare Mountain.’

    *** ‘Pictures at an Exhibition sounds magnificent here… Songs and Dances of Death are the revelation of this recording.’
    Cutting Edge

    ‘I could find nothing at all to fault in this rendition, which immediately has catapulted up to my top few favorite readings of Ravel’s version [of Pictures at an Exhibition]... No less impressive is the Shostakovich orchestration of Songs and Dances of Death. As in Pictures, Gergiev’s pacing is spot on, and special kudos must go to bass soloist Ferruccio Furlanetto… Sonic quality on this disc is also about as good as SACD sound gets, and the playing of the Mariinsky Orchestra is simply stunning.’
    Fanfare (David DeBoor Canfield)

    ‘In my opinion this disk should be in the collection of every music lover.’
    Blog à la Russe

    ‘The conductor and the orchestra know every corner of this score [Pictures at an Exhibition]… the orchestra plays with valour and splendour. In the Night on Bare Mountain, (performed in its original version), Gergiev rushes headlong and highlights the primitive force of the composer’s orchestration.’

    ‘The pristine fidelity of this recording is almost as good as being in the room with the orchestra… Two of Mussorgsky’s best-known compositions – Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bare Mountain – are realized in spectacular fashion… The four compositions in the song cycle [Songs and Dances of Death] are performed here by bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, whose robust presentation and resonant singing voice imbue the work with passion and pathos. Top notch.’
    Scene Magazine

    ‘The Great Gate of Kiev has plenty of grandeur – Gergiev’s refusal to rush is an asset here – and ends with the right balance of triumph tinged with bombast. The Mariinsky Orchestra plays brilliantly and can rightly be considered one of the world’s finest orchestras… More exciting is Gergiev’s take on the ever favorite Night on the Bare Mountain… Gergiev and his players dig in and don’t seem afraid to risk going over the top a bit. Great stuff.’
    American Record Guide

    ‘The sound is brilliantly clear. It’s one of the disc’s biggest selling points, in fact, repeatedly allowing instrumental details to shine through in an exciting way… There is something dark and blood-curdling about Furlanetto's voice that makes him perfect for this cycle… This is a thunderous, majestic performance.’
    MusicWeb International

    ‘Without question, this is the finest set of performances, recorded on their own label, I have heard from Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky Orchestra. The results are phenomenal… Essential listening. Mindblowing performances too, of the Songs And Dances Of Death (bass Ferrucio Furlanetto) and Night On Bare Mountain.’
    Herald Scotland

    ‘In all three works, Gergiev and his forces provide the needed glittering, idiomatic support… At sixty-nine minutes of well-performed, high-quality music, this is quite a generous CD, which would make a good sampler for newcomers to Mussorgsky’s genius.’
    Opera News

    ‘The Mussorgsky disc on the Mariinsky’s own label is wonderful from start to finish. The Gergiev touch – which often means strong emphasis on percussion and sforzandos that are genuinely startling – serves Ravel’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition exceptionally well... Gergiev is also quite capable of delving deeply into dark feelings, as in Songs and Dances of Death, which Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto sings with sensitivity and involvement.’

    ‘One puts on Songs and Dances of Death and is stunned by the emotional power of the music… Once you’ve been carried off in a box by the songs, you can frolic with Satan on his hilltop in this new performance of Night on Bare Mountain… the wildness of the music comes through vividly in spacious sound.’
    Fanfare (Steven Kruger)

    ‘Most listeners will find the performance [of Pictures at an Exhibition] flawless, which it no doubt is… In [Songs and Dances of Death], bass Ferruccio Furlanetto handles the pathos, tragedy, and drama of the music with deep sympathy. In [Night on Bare Mountain], Gergiev conjures up a genuinely frightening sense of menace and dread.’
    Classical Candor

    ‘The rich orchestral tone is built up from a rock-solid bass, projected in wonderful recorded sound as heard in two-channel stereo. The Mariinsky concert hall sounds superb… decades of operatic experience are evident in Furlanetto’s passionate but nuanced reading [of the Songs and Dances of Death].’
    Fanfare (Huntley Dent)

    ‘[Gergiev’s] orchestra always remains in its place to bring to the forefront the noble and serene singing of Ferruccio Furlanetto [in Songs and Dances of Death]. In addition, there is a beautiful version of Night on Bare Mountain.’

    ‘A powerful rendition of Songs and Dances and the original Night [on Bare Mountain] in a performance which makes the recording worth having for that alone.’
    MusicWeb International

    ‘In the Songs and Dances of Death, we have the pleasure of hearing Ferruccio Furlanetto… If you are a Furlanetto fan, you will most definitely want this album because of his excellent and highly dramatic interpretations, which are among the best I’ve heard.’
    Fanfare (Lynn René Bayley)

    ‘If you didn't get enough of the electric conductor last week, his two new recordings (Harold en Italie & Pictures at an Exhibtion) rank among his best… Gergiev conducts a penetrating Pictures at an Exhibition in an all-Mussorgsky disc that has Ferruccio Furlanetto singing Songs and Dances of Death.’

    ‘He [Gergiev] is in his element in the ‘Catacombs’ and with the grandeur of ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’… A Night on Bare Mountain is splendidly macabre, one of the best performances.’

    ‘Bass Ferruccio Furlanetto is in memorable form’.
    BBC Radio 3 CD Review

    ‘Gergiev conducts the Pictures at an Exhibition without the usual crashing pathos, but with a quite elegiac, sensual and very beautiful sound. He pays attention to the atmospheric magic of Ravel’s ingenious orchestration.’
    Hifi & Records

    ‘The Mariinsky Orchestra play well and the recording is good.’
    MusicWeb International


Ferruccio Furlanetto, Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra celebrate Mussorgsky with the release of two of his most cherished works, Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bare Mountain (performed here in Mussorgsky’s original version).

Gergiev is at his finest conducting these paragons of Mussorgsky’s work, featured alongside which are the seldom heard Songs and Dances of Death, composed during the years 1875 to 1877 and left languishing unpublished during the composer’s lifetime. One of Mussorgsky’s most powerful compositions, each song deals with death in a poetic manner reflecting experiences not uncommon in 19th century Russia: child death, death in youth, drunken misadventure and war.

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