Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NEW CD: Paavo Jarvi, Cincinnati Symphony Paint Vivid Musical Pictures

September 16, 2008
The 14th Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Telarc recording with Music Director Paavo Jarvi 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, 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 Jarvi. “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 of 1922.
“I have always wanted to record Pictures at Exhibition,” said Mr. Jarvi. “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 Mr. Jarvi. “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 CD closes with the Prelude to Khovanshchina (Dawn on the Moscow River), another Mussorgsky work lushly arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov.
Telarc’s 13 discs with Paavo Jarvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra have garnered critical acclaim, including their January 2008 release of a celebrated all-Prokofiev CD. The 2007 release of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony was praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “one of the best available outings with this great symphony.” In May 2006 the CSO’s Bartok and Lutoslawski Concertos for Orchestra debuted on the Billboard classical chart at number 9, and The New York Times said of it, “Mr. Jarvi’s interpretations are everywhere persuasive, and the performances almost uniformly virtuosic. Telarc’s typically expansive sound is especially gratifying…” The September 2005 release, Dvorak: Symphony No. 9/Martinu: Symphony No. 2, was named an “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone Magazine. Music of Ravel also was named a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice” and was awarded a Diapason d’or. --

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