Modest Mussorgsky - Night on Bald Mountain, 1867. Reorchestrated and adapted by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, 1886.
Transcription for Solo Piano by Konstantin Chernov, adapted by Boris Berezovsky.
Performed by Boris Berezovsky.
The Night on Bald Mountain, a “fantasy for orchestra,” was originally conceived by Mussorgsky as a tone poem describing the Russian legend that talks of a witches’ sabbath taking place on St. John’s Night on the bald mountain (Lysa Hora) near Kiev. Rimsky-Korsakov’s revision of the piece stays true to the program, as seen below.
“Subterranean sounds of unearthly voices. Appearance of the Spirits of Darkness, followed by that of Chornobog. Glorification of Chornobog and celebration of the Black Mass. Witches’ Sabbath. At the height of the orgy, the bell of the little village church is heard from afar. The Spirits of Darkness are dispersed. Daybreak.”
Sergei Rachmaninov | Prelude Op.23 No.4 in D major (1901-03)
Boris Berezovksy, piano
A piece that is often overshadowed by it’s much more famous antecedent, the “march-prelude” Op.23 No.5, the more subtle prelude in D major might remind one of rain falling on the Russian pastoral–an effect achieved in no small part by the constant triple-duple polyrhythm. The piece seems to share some figuring and textural details with the renowned Andante movement from the sonata for cello and piano, composed within the same period. [I will add as an aside that it is nice to see Berezovsky’s more tender side–though he still plays the piece quite fast compared to, say, Ashkenazy, it is well-employed and extremely tasteful here.]
[F]or a period in the 1990s, no one in Russia seemed more wealthy, powerful, and politically connected than the flamboyant Berezovsky. He traded on a friendship with Tatiana Dyachenko, the daughter of then-president Boris Yeltsin, to become a potent power broker in the Kremlin.
His tour de force was the 1996 Russian presidential election, which Yeltsin seemed sure to lose to a resurgent Communist Party, his popularity ratings in the single digits. But, led by Berezovsky, Russia’s oligarchs rallied to Yeltsin’s aid in order to save their fortunes. In a controversial move that would have longstanding repercussions, the oligarchs exchanged hundreds of millions of dollars in cash for Yeltsin’s re-election in exchange for shares in some of Russia’s most valuable industrial enterprises. Berezovsky turned over his nationwide television channel–Channel One–to the championing of Yeltsin. Yeltsin, remarkably, won. The oligarchs cashed in their shares, and became even more fabulously wealthy…
But the seeds were also set for the fall of virtually all of them in 1999.
Liadov Rus olamayacak kadar romantik & Avrupai bir insan. Şöyle bir söz var, “Rusa doğu ya da batı değildir, Rusya hem doğu hem de batıdır.” diye. Oldukça salakça bir söz olmasının yanısıra bu güzel prelüd için de hiç geçerli değil. Çok vurucu değil, uzun da değil, ekstra yaratıcılık da içermiyor ama hoş, klişe değil & ayarında etkileyici. Üstelik Boris Berezovski piyanisti tarafından yorumlanmış ki kendisi şu dönemde bulabileceğiniz en kral Rus bestecisi piyanisti. Bu parça adeta designer bir markadan alınmış little black dress oluyor bu şekilde.