MUS­SORGSKY/RAVEL: PIC­TURES AT AN EX­HI­BI­TION; BORODIN: SYM­PHONY NO 2; POLOVT­SIAN DANCES

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - MICHAEL DER­VAN

Ber­lin Phil­har­monic Orches­tra/ Si­mon Rat­tle EMI Clas­sics 517 5822

If you like Ravel’s or­ches­tra­tion of Mus­sorgsky’s Pic­tures at an Ex­hi­bi­tion to in­cline to­wards ef­fects that are pri­mar­ily showy and brash, then Si­mon Rat­tle’s new Ber­lin record­ing is prob­a­bly not the one for you. It’s not that the mu­sic is never al­lowed to blaze. But Rat­tle takes what is the an­tithe­sis of the pres­sured, vir­tu­oso approach, and, even in the heav­i­est cli­maxes, he strives to keep a sense of over­all shape rather than sim­ply drive the mu­sic flat out. Borodin’s Sec­ond Sym­phony and Polovt­sian Dances, ex­cep­tion­ally full-blooded but un­sug­ared, are equally fine. www.emi­clas­sics.com

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