Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - BRSO

Mariss Jansons – Strawinsky & Mussorgsky

CD: Mariss Jansons – Strawinsky & Mussorgsky © BR-KLASSIK Label

Two well-known masterpieces of Russian music come together perfectly on this CD with Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks: Stravinsky’s ballet “Petrushka” in its 1947 version, with reduced orchestration, and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” in the famous colorful orchestral version by Maurice Ravel.

Order online now

Stravinsky had originally written the burlesque “Petrushka” for the famous Parisian “Ballets Russes”; the first version had been conducted by Pierre Monteux and danced by Vaslav Nijinsky in 1911. In 1947 he extensively revised his score: by reducing the orchestration, the tonal texture became airy and airy, and by placing the piano more clearly in the foreground, he came closer to his original ideas of a concertante conception of the music. The ballet thus became an instrumental work, “a kind of concert piece”, which in the present recording pianist Lukas Maria Kuen breathes agile life into in concert-like competition with the orchestra.

Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” was written as a piano cycle as early as 1874; the individual sections describe paintings and drawings by his friend Viktor Hartmann, who had died the year before. As in a real museum visit, the composer combines his musical descriptions of the pictures with a “promenade” that recurs again and again – but always in a slight variation. Since the music virtually demands an orchestral version, countless adaptations for the most diverse instrumentations were created; but only Ravel was to succeed in giving it a universally valid and comprehensible version, with which it was to begin its triumphal march around and through the world …

The recording of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” was made in November 2014 in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz, in April 2015 “Petrushka” by Stravinsky was recorded in the Philharmonie im Gasteig.

Igor Strawinsky
Petrushka – Burlesque in Four Pictures (Revised Version, 1947)

Modest Mussorgsky
Pictures at an Exhibition (orchestral version by Maurice Ravel, 1822)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Mariss Jansons conductor