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Kirill Karabits conducts Tchaikovsky & Mussorgsky


Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2012



Catalogue No:




Release date:

17th Oct 2011




81 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Kirill Karabits conducts Tchaikovsky & Mussorgsky


A Night on the Bare Mountain

orig. version

Pictures at an Exhibition

orch. Ravel


Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 'Little Russian'



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Following the success of their first release on ONYX, the BSO and Karabits turn to the Ukraine for the second release in the orchestra’s partnership with ONYX.

Tchaikovsky’s most overtly nationalistic symphony, his 2nd known as the ‘Little Russian’ uses folk songs from the Ukraine, and is the nearest the composer came to the musical and cultural ideals proposed by ‘The Mighty Handful’. This group of composers – Borodin, Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui and Mussorgsky rejected the Western influences on Russian culture, and looked to the music, folklore and history of Mother Russia for inspiration. Mussorgsky, probably the most naturally gifted of this group composed A Night on the Bare Mountain in 1867, and the original version heard here was not published until 1968. It is a striking work, quite shocking in it’s modernity, and a world away from Rimsky’s better known re-composition of the piece. The suite Pictures at an Exhibition was written for piano in 1874 and inspired by paintings by his friend Victor Harmann displays Mussorgsky’s great gift of graphic evocation. Ravel’s masterly orchestration was made in 1922.

Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17 - "Little Russian"

I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro

II. Andantino marziale, quasi moderato

III. Scherzo. Allegro molto vivace

Finale. Moderato assai - Allegro vivo

Modest Mussorgsky: Night on the Bare Mountain (Original Version)

Night on the Bare Mountain (Original Version)

Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition


No. 1, Gnomus


No. 2, Ill vecchio castello


No. 3, Tuileries

No. 4, Byd?o

Promenade: Tranquillo

No. 5, Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks

No. 6, Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuÿle

No. 7, The Market at Limoges

No. 8, Catacombae (Sepulcrum romanum)

Cum mortuis in lingua morta

No. 9, The Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yagá)

No. 10, The Great Gate of Kiev

The Observer

30th October 2011

“Karabits encourages the players to dig deep into the music, pounding out the rhythms sturdily, in the Tchaikovsky especially, rather than bustling ahead nervously. At 82 minutes this is a generous, as well as an enjoyable CD.”

The Telegraph

11th November 2011


“Strong rhythmic definition, clarity of orchestral texture and firmly controlled impetus give the Tchaikovsky a definite boost. Karabits coaxes a ripe, full sound from the Bournemouth players and encourages broad bowings from the strings that add weight to the sonority. Equally he allows for individual instrumental colours to tell..Karabits is an inspired architect.”

Financial Times

26th November 2011


“[it] has everything we expect from a Tchaikovsky interpreter of the Moscow school – colour, sweep, majesty, but not a whiff of indulgence. The Bournemouth orchestra responds with style and drive – all wind sections in superlative form – and a symphony that is often dismissed as a poor relation of its better known successors comes across as a masterpiece”

BBC Music Magazine

February 2012


“The Musorgsky pieces are superbly performed...Bare Mountain's hair-raising opening sounding genuinely menacing rather than brash, and every cackle of the witches as impersonated by strings and woodwind brought to vivid life. Pictures, too, is a triumph, with Ravel's orchestration telling in every vignette.”

Gramophone Magazine

March 2012

“If there's a single distinguishing feature of this generously filled disc it's Karabits's determination to convey the grass-roots spirit of the themes which breathe life into these pieces...Characteristically, he is more mindful of the pianistic cragginess of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition than of Ravel's finesse...Karabits is big-boned and earthy, and positively encourages coarser-grained sonorities from his Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.”

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