MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel). Night on the Bare Mountain (Rimsky-Korsakov and original versions). Hopak from Sorochintsy Fair. Golitsin's Exile from Khovanshchina.
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar, cond.
NAXOS SACD 6.1100615.1 channel TT: 63:36

HOLST: The Planets, Op. 32. The Mystic Trumpeter, Op. 18.
Claire Rutter, soprano; Ladies of the RSNO Chorus; Royal Scottish National Orch/David Lloyd-Jones, cond.
NAXOS SACD 6.110004 5.1 channel TT: 68:52

SHOSTAKOVICH: Hamlet (music for the 1964 film)
Russian Philharmonic Orch/Dmitry Yablonsky, cond.
NAXOS SACD 6.110062 5.1 channel TT: 62:28

Two of these recordings previously were reviewed on this site when they first appeared on CD, the Mussorgsky collection in May 2003 (REVIEW), the Holst by R.D. in April 2002 (REVIEW), and in June 2003 when it appeared on DVD Audio minus the "Pluto" movement which was included on the original CD (REVIEW). All were praised for their fine recorded sound on the original CDs, and now they sound even better on these SACDs (I can't notice any difference in sound between the DVD Audio and SACD versions of the Holst). The Mussorgsky SACD, with its brilliant brass, is particularly effective.

The recording of music for the 1964 film Hamlet is important in the Shostakovich discography. Previously excerpts have been recorded by Bernard Herrmann, Arthur Fiedler, José Serebrier and, most recently, Riccardo Chailly and the Concertgebouw. Now we have the complete published score incorporating the suite arranged by Lev Atovmian,much more than previously available, in superb performances conducted by Dmitri Yablonsky, recorded with uncommon clarity by producer Lubov Doronina and sound engineers Alexander Karasev and Dmitry Missailov in February 2003 in Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company in Moscow. Detailed notes by John Riley add to the attractiveness of this fine disk. All three of these Naxos issues are highly recommended.

R.E.B. (June 2004)