Zdenek Macal, conductor
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Westminster Symphonic Choir – Joseph Flummerfelt, director

This is a disc which features superlative sound and definitive interpretations of familiar repertoire by a conductor of impressive musical stature. Most newsworthy to many listeners is the headliner on this disc – Macal’s presentation of The Dream of the Peasant Gritzko in its first appearance on CD. This hair-raising choral-orchestral version of Night on Bald Mountain, in which Macal and his New Jersey Symphony are joined by the Westminster Symphonic Choir, is a virtuosic tour-de-force for all concerned. In this verson the listener is face-to-face with Mussorgsky’s original concept of this music as it was inserted in his unfinished opera, Fair at Sorochinsky. Demonic choral outbursts (sung by Westminster with ferocity and abandon), a bass solo for the satanic leader, strange and exotic harmonic combinations in the orchestration (played with elan and precision by the New Jersey Symphony), all display Mussorgsky’s unique vision.

Modest Mussorgsky:

Dream of the Peasant Gritzko (orch. Shebalin)
Clayton, Brainerd, bass-baritone

Galitsin’s Journey from Khovanshchina: Act 4, Scene 5 (orch. N. Rimsky-Korsakov)

Introduction to Khovanshchina (orch. N. Rimsky-Korsakov)

Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. M. Ravel)