Maria Judina plays Mussorgsky Pictures at an exhibition

An unmistakable and original artistic personality whose lesson should be remembered and reconsidered today.

"You are far from God, you should get closer to Him". 

With this words Maria Judina addressed Igor Stravinsky. 

They accidentally met in a cemetery and she was bent to the ground. 

Maria Judina (Nevel, 1899 - Moscow, 1970), even today rather unknown in the Western countries, looks like an " old believer", with strong and anachronistic mystical and religious connotations, while she actually was a great and original artist who developed very fruitful critical thesis. 

Doubtless she was one of those vanguard forces, belonging to the intelligencija suspect to the soviet government bureaucracy, that were silenced during the Stalinist epoch. 

She was sidelined in the musical life of their country and precluded the development of an international career. 

Maria Judina had in her repertoire nearly all of the most important composers of her time, Schönberg, Stravinsky, Bartok, Berg, Prokofiev, Hindemith, Shostakovic . 

She performed Bach and the viennese classics but, within the masterpieces of the 19th century, she only favored a composition that represented a nagging problem for her generation: the Pictures at an exhibition of Modest Mussorgsky. 

The recording, made in 1967, is a witness of her originality, of her captivating oratory strength and of her fertile intellectual chemistry. 

For example we don't find in her playing any kind of french elegance in  Tuileries and in  Limoges but the Russian seriousness and gravity of Checov and Gogol, as well as any italian sentimentality in  Vecchio castello but a ciaikovskian serenade for voice and guitars... 

As an example of her countless ideas the beginning of  Promenade impresses for the imperious, metallic quality of the timbre, that reminds that of a clarion trumpet, and for an unbelievably simple interpretative idea: Maria Judina shows us that the sounds of the second bar are the same to those of the first, only in opposite order.

The theme namely reflects itself, and she succeeds in doing it by playing forte the first bar and more or less mezzoforte the second one, as an echo. 

The impression that we have from her recordings is therefore of an unmistakable and original artistic personality whose lesson should be remembered and reconsidered today: because first of all it is a lesson of liberty. 

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