More of the music of Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Mussorgsky
This original London pressing of the solo piano version of Pictures has uncannily natural piano reproduction, which is why we are awarding this side one our highest sonic grade, A Triple Plus.
The fact that the recording takes place in Kingsway Hall in 1967 no doubt plays a large part in the natural sound. The hall is bigger here than on other copies, the piano even more solidly weighted, yet none of this comes at the expense of the clarity of the playing.
The piano has no smear, allowing both the percussive aspects of the instrument and the extended harmonics of the notes to be heard clearly and appreciated fully.
Pianos are very good for testing your system, room, tweaks, electricity and all the rest, not to mention turntable setup and adjustment. More records that are good for testing and improving your playback can be found here.
Side two has Mehta’s performance of the orchestrated work squeezed onto side two, which is never a good idea if one is looking for high quality orchestral sound. The performance itself is mediocre as well.
We are not, and never have been, big fans of Mehta’s work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on London Records.
The exceptionally rare copy of Mehta’s Planets can sound good, but 90% of them do not — just don’t make the mistake of telling that to the average audiophile who owns one. Harry told him it was the best, he paid good money for it, and until someone tells him otherwise it had better be “the one Planets to own.” (Why audiophiles need someone to tell them what recordings are the best is a mystery. Can’t they just play them and listen for themselves?)
We see one of our roles here at Better Records as being the guys who actually will “tell you different,” and, more importantly, can back up our opinions with the records that make our case for us. (more…)