Mussorgsky’s work is distinguished by a raw, even crude, realism, iconoclastic at times, favouring the primitive peasant culture over the gentrified; his harmonic language pointed forward to the twentieth century. At times his innovations surpassed his colleagues’ understanding and Rimsky-Korsakov took it upon himself to edit – sometimes recompose – some works in order to make them more “acceptable”. Not published in Mussorgsky’s lifetime, Pictures from an Exhibition was his magnum opus for piano, but he wrote several shorter works that are worthy of a hearing: some are recorded here. The full version of ‘Pictures’ as recorded here is the original manuscript version and not the more common later revision which is considered by many to be less effective overall.
Described by The New York Times as “a man whose nature was designed with pianos in mind”, Anthony Goldstone is one of Britain’s most respected pianists. A sixth-generation pupil of Beethoven through his great teacher Maria Curcio, Anthony Goldstone was born in Liverpool. He studied with Derrick Wyndham at the Royal Manchester College of Music (which later honoured him with a Fellowship), later with Curcio in London. He has enjoyed a career encompassing six continents, the Last Night of the Proms (after which Benjamin Britten wrote to him, “Thank you most sincerely for that brilliant performance of my Diversions. I wish I could have been at the Royal Albert Hall to join in the cheers”), very many broadcasts and seventy CDs (including the BBC issue of his London Promenade Concert performance of Beethoven’s fourth Piano Concerto). He has an adventurous approach to repertoire and has been praised by Vienna’s Die Presse for “his astonishingly profound spiritual penetration”.
In the last few years Goldstone has become known for his acclaimed completions and realisations of works for solo piano and piano duet by Schubert, and for two pianos and solo piano by Mozart, all of which he has recorded on Divine Art CDs.