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Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Prokofiev: Classical Symphony

Notes & Reviews:

Philippe Jordan conducts the Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Paris in much-loved works by Russian composers: Prokofiev's 'Classical' Symphony and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in Ravel's famous orchestration. Directly before the recording sessions, a concert featuring both works prompted this response from ResMusica: "Philippe Jordan, known for his precision in interpreting a score, exhibited superb authority in a programme that showed off the orchestra to great effect and astonished the ear with its profusion of colours … Pictures at an Exhibition was marvellous from beginning to end." Commenting on his life as a conductor in the French newspaper Les Échos, Jordan said: "My feeling is that activity both in the orchestral pit and on the concert podium is necessary for a full appreciation of what a conductor's life has to offer." The Swiss-born maestro is much admired for the refinement he draws from orchestras; as Gramophone observed of his Erato release of Ravel's complete Daphnis et Chloé, recorded with the orchestra of the Paris Opéra: "He graces the rhythms and dynamics with natural, malleable inflection and crafts the textures with such care." For all that, Jordan believes that "Sheer beauty of sound is not enough … you have to find the particular soundworld of each work, of each composer."


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