The Promenades are colorful and expressive, and the faster movements are generally done very well. Siprashvili and Anderson add thunder and echo to the Gnome. No longer are we confronted with a shy, awkward creature hiding in the corner. Instead, it is more like a velociraptor, hunting, lying in ambush and in the end securing its prey. The Old Castle is rather fast and dynamic, quite opposite to its usual character. The sound is not soft, and the mystery is gone. The Tuileries are aptly bright and impatient. The pace of Bydlo is very stable. There is no “slow rolling” feeling, but rather one of a marching army. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks is excellent - lively and silvery, with good humor. The Two Jews enjoys good contrast. Limoges is a bit heavy. The second piano adds solemn weight to the resounding spaces of the Catacombs. The gradual whitening of the light toward the end is realized very well.
The wild flight of Baba-Yaga with her mortar and pestle is dynamic and unstoppable. The middle episode could have been more hushed – this would have enhanced the mystery. The Bogatyr’s Gate of Kiev has good weight and drive, and the ending is spectacular. Here the long-resonating quality of the sound adds to the bell-ringing effect. The performance of this part is on the slow side, which together with the second piano layer makes the music even more grandiose.
The liner-note contains a fair description of the works, as well as the history of their creation. It also recounts the biographies of the performers and the composer Tim Seddon, plus some of Seddon’s thoughts about the need for his two-piano arrangement of the Pictures.
Oleg Ledeniov, Musicweb-international.com