Mussorgsky, Messiaen, Ravel


One of the pinnacles of nineteenth-century pianism, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition broke new frontiers in its writing for the piano through its use of ringing bell-like sonorities, dramatic juxtaposition of registers and dynamics, its approach to resonance, percussive octaves and rapid hand-alternations, and sheer grandeur of sound. Introducing new ideas about virtuosity that owe much to orchestral thinking in the ways the full range of the piano’s tone-colours are explored, this work requires immense stamina through combining great finger dexterity with unbridled power.

Mussorgsky’s masterpiece is coupled here with works by Ravel and Messiaen – composers who were indebted to the innovations of their Russian predecessor.

Miroirs comprises a set of five pieces evoking contrasting moods and pianistic characters. Far from being Impressionist – a movement with which Ravel had little real affiliation –the ‘Mirrors’ of the title suggests more Symbolist associations in that the individual pieces explore ambiguities between supposed reality and ‘reflected’ simulation. Ravel was particularly fascinated by a line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: ‘the eye sees not itself, but by reflection, by some other things.’

An unusually non-descriptive work for Messiaen, without religious references or bird- song, Cantéyodjayâ is about musical process and is constructed as a mosaic-like collage in which a jaunty rhythmic refrain is contrasted with a multiplicity of contrasting ideas, many of which are re-workings from his gargantuan Turangalîla-Symphonie.

★★★★ An absolute humdinger – The Daily Mail

Donohoe’s brightly faceted interpretation [of Cantéyodjayâ], whose chiselled textures and sharply defined lines make this, for me, by some distance the highlight of the disc – Gramophone

This recording confirms Donohoe’s reputation as one of the foremost pianists of today, and comes highly recommended – The Northern Echo

 iTUNES  Spotify

Peter Donohoe piano

RELEASE DATE: 15/03/2019


BARCODE: 635212056622

Pictures at an Exhibition


1. Promenade I

2. Gnomus

3. Promenade II

4. The Old Castle

5. Promenade III

6. Tuileries

7. Bydło

8. Promenade IV

9. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks

10. Samuel Goldberg and Schmuyle

11. Promenade V

12. The Market Place at Limoges

13. Catacombs

14. The Hut on Hen’s Legs of the Baba-Yaga

15. The Great Gate of Kiev



16. Noctuelles

17. Oiseaux tristes

18. Une barque sur l’océan

19. Alborada del gracioso

20. La vallée des cloches

21. Cantéyodjayâ Messiaen

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