Classical Mussorgsky, Modest: "Pictures at an Exhibition." Works by Taneyev, Liadov, Borodin, Tchaikovsky. Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano. (London digital LDR-71124.) -- There have been fine performances of Mussorgsky's piano suite before Ashkenazy's including Richter's and Horowitz's. Ashkenazy recorded the work in the earlier part of his career, but here, many years later and in digital sound of remarkable fidelity, he goes as it again, and with wonderful results. The richness of his palette, the vigor with which he attacks the big moments, and the delicacy with which he caresses the quiet moments are all the hallmarks of a remarlable pianist in tip-top form. Since the entire performance fits onto one side of the record, the second side is devoted to series of delightful "encore" pieces from the Russian literature. Ashkenazy plays them all with elan, and with wit.
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