Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition & Night on Bald Mountain - Lorin Maazel & The Cleveland Orchestra
Composed by Modest Moussorgsky
Arranged by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (A1), Maurice Ravel (A2, B1)
Orchestra – The Cleveland Orchestra
Conductor – Lorin Maazel
1 LP, gatefold jacket
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33RPM
Size : 12”
Record Press : Optimal Media
Label : Craft Recordings
Original Label : Telarc
Recorded in Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, October 20, 1978.
Engineered by Jack Renner
Produced by Robert Woods
Mastered by Paul Blakemore
Lacquer cut by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound
Originally released in 1979
Reissued in June 2023
- Night On Bald Mountain
- Pictures At An Exhibition (part 1)
- Pictures At An Exhibition (part 2)
Stereophile's Recording of June 1980
“This is unquestionably the best recording Telarc has done to date. It is almost impossible to fault. If I were to pick nits, I would complain about a slight lack of air in the strings. The rest is, simply, superlatives!
The performances aren't quite that good, unfortunately. While the performances of both works are the best Telarc has gotten yet, Sir Thomas Beecham did a better job with both, but not all that much better, and Beecham's sound was mediocre by today's standards. The featured work, Pictures, is carried off well but without flair. The problem is one of phrasing, not tempos or dynamics. It is most evident in the "Hut on Fowl's Legs," where the rendition lacks incisiveness and bite. Perhaps the cavernous reverb contributes here to the effect of legato when the effect ought to be staccato, but the result is a performance that is less compelling than it ought to be.
It is the flip side that makes the record worth the buying price. Leopold Stokowsky used to do such a hackle-raising rendition of this that all subsequent recordings have sounded tame to the point of ennui. Maazel's is the only alternative recording I have heard that could hold a candle to the old Stokowskis.
With a "purist" mike setup, Telarc has been backing off their mikes with each recording. The Moussorgsky recording was right on. This one, I'm sorry to say, is bit too distant. The overall sound on this is a bit heavy, which means that on a system that gives good balance at high listening levels, this recording will have to be played at a lower level to sound right. (Actually, it sounds more realistic that way because of the Row-M perspective.)
The sound of this LP is absolutely awesome. Buy the record for this, and to Hell with the Pictures. This N on B M may never bettered within our lifetime. I'm willing to bet, though, that if you buy this you won't feel the need to buy another version for many, many years.” Stereophile Review J. Gordon Holt
Discogs : 4,49 / 5