This release is a conventional, CD(2) album. It is also available as a hybrid, CD(2)/SACD(2/5.0) album, which contains a stereo track playable on conventional machines, as well as super audio stereo and multi-channel tracks playable on super audio machines.
This recording was "CD of the Month" in Gramophone Magazine (Awards/05) and it's a sound spectacular of major proportions. Some of Leopold Stokowski's Johann Sebastian Bach retreads may be sticky wickets, but when it came to Russian music, he was right on the rubles. These brilliant orchestral transcriptions are full of Slavic sole and conductor Jose Serebrier furthers the cause with exceptionally sensitive performances. In fact, many may find they prefer this version of "Pictures at an Exhibition" to the better known one by Maurice Ravel. There's also a symphonic synthesis of "Boris Godunov" that's a knockout - operaphobes take note! Two other Modest Mussorgsky delights, "A Night on Bare Mountain," which is one you'll never forget, and the entr'acte from the fourth act of "Khovanschina" are also included. The program closes with arrangements of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's piano piece, "Humoresque," (shades of Igor Stravinsky) and song, Again, as Before, Alone (entitled "Solitude" here), plus Stokie's own, moving "Traditional Slavic Christmas Music." This release is also available in hybrid, CD(2)/SACD(2/5.0) format. By the way, do try some of the other arrangements of "Pictures" by Ashkenazy, Bekova, Boyashov, Crabb/Draugsvoll, Funtek, Gortchakov, Guillou and Leonard; and, of course, the original for solo piano.
--Review by Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost & Found, September 21, 2005
José Serebrier leads the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in thrill-a-minute performances that finally do justice to Stoki's transcriptions, in terms of both sonics and performance. His valuable program offers further Mussorgky (including a sustantial suite from Boris Godunov), as well as two miniatures by Tchaikovsky and an original setting of traditional Slavic Christmas music. Since Stokowski's own recordings are currently out of print, Serebrier's vivid portrayal will no doubt provide the standard by which future recordings are judged."
--Review by Daniel Felsenfeld, Timeout New York, July 14, 2005