MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition
“This powerful disc combines two of the most formidable examples of 19th-century piano music … Lewis brings out the first movement’s extraordinary improvisatory character and is equal to the second’s ferocious demands.”
David Cairns – The Sunday Times, 11th January 2015
Following a critically-acclaimed Schubert sonata series, Paul Lewis' now explores Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Schumann's Fantasie.
‘Music is never about things. Music just is’, Leonard Bernstein once said. Perhaps that was why Schumann decided to remove the evocative titles (‘Ruin, Triumphal Arch, Constellation’) from his Fantasie: the music has an independent existence without them. Is the same true of Pictures at an Exhibition? Mussorgsky created here something subtler and more ambivalent than Hartmann’s paintings might suggest. Alongside the dazzling virtuosity they call for, Paul Lewis’s unexpected coupling reveals the purely musical qualities of these two 19th-century masterpieces.
New releases at one glance!
When Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen died in 1728, his former Kapellmeister had not forgotten the five brilliant years he had spent in the prince’s service. He wrote a cantata dedicated to his memory based on the music of two major works of the mid 1720s - the Trauer-Ode and the St. Matthew Passion. Although the score to the Köthener Trauermusik is lost, the wordbook and other sources of information have now made it possible to create a performing edition. In his first recording for harmonia mundi, Raphaël Pichon leads the ensemble Pygmalion in a rediscovery of this little-known work.
Songs of Hope & Home
Anonymous 4 and special guest Bruce Molsky commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War with songs that were in the air in the year 1865. It includes ballads and choruses originally intended for the stage and the parlor, as well as songs and instrumental tunes from the hills and back roads of America. They portray the highly emotional, personal stories of soldiers, widows and others who lived through one of the bloodiest wars in American history.
Compiled by our artists
The "hm Treasures by..." Playlists curated by our artists open the vaults of harmonia mundi's treasured catalog. These selections gather together their favorite titles, which we hope will become yours as well."