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Sviatoslav Richter plays Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 3 - Bagatelles, Op. 126, Nos. 1, 4 & 6 - Piano Sonata No. 29, 'Hammerklavier'

Ludwig van Beethoven , Sviatoslav Richter Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Sviatoslav Richter plays Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 3 - Bagatelles, Op. 126, Nos. 1, 4 & 6 - Piano Sonata No. 29, 'Hammerklavier' + Richter in Leipzig - Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 30- 32, Opp. 109- 111 (November 28, 1963) + Richter in Warsaw: The Scriabin Recital
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Product Details

  • Performer: Sviatoslav Richter
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ICA Classics
  • ASIN: B0096N6AEC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,133 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter
(1915 1997) was one of the greatest
interpreters of the 20th century, along
with his compatriots Emil Gilels, David
Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich.
As Richard Osborne says of Richter's
playing in his booklet note, 'Bravura
technique matched to high intelligence
and a richly developed musical
imagination is a rare combination
of qualities in any instrumentalist.'
Richter made his debut in the West in 1960 with
Beethoven's Piano Sonata op.2 no.3 at a recital in
New York. Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' Sonata was
one of the main features of Richter's programming
in the summer of 1975 in Prague, London and
Aldeburgh, the latter performed one week prior to
London and recorded on BBC Legends.
Richter's live recitals catch him at his very best
compared to the confines of the studio. The 1975
recital in London was considered a landmark, one
of the greatest that Richter gave in this country

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richter at his awesome best January 1, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I took a chance on buying this one. because I wanted to hear Richter's interpretation of "Hammerklavier". My husband and I have been familiar with Richter since 1960 and we were fortunate to attend his recital at Symphony Hall in Boston. This was an early Christmas present for my husband. When it arrived before Christmas I told him to open it & listen. Thie first piece was Sonata No. 3, one of Beethoven's earlier works. The performance was absolutely astounding, even hair-raising. Richter had extraordinary technique, coupled with extraordinary musicianship. Fabulous articulation - you can hear every single note and you get an idea that he might be channeling Beethoven. The sonata was followed by Bagatelles, also outstanding. And then, "Hammerklavier", less bombastic then the wonderful version by Rudolf Serkin but just as fantastic in its own way. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to know why Richter was considered by many to be the greatest pianist of the 20th centruy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Richter's Three 1975 Recordings of These Sonatas December 21, 2012
Format:Audio CD
This is just to add to what Santa Fe has said in his excellent (as always) review Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 3 - Bagatelles, Op. 126, Nos. 1, 4 & 6 - Piano Sonata No. 29, "Hammerklavier" of Richter playing a program consisting of Beethoven's Third Sonata, Op. 2, No. 3; Bagatelles Op. 126 Nos. 1, 4, & 6, and the Hammerklavier Sonata, Op. 106.

I own recordings of three different Richter performances of the program, all recorded in 1975. This one was at London's Royal Festival Hall on June 18. Then there is one recorded at Aldeburgh a few days earlier. And one recorded in Prague in January of that year. They have great similarities but I have to say that the recorded sound, as remastered on this issue, is superior to the other two.

Further, the performance of the Op. 2, No. 3 on the present CD is simply titanic. Richter was known for his ferocious performance of this sonata, which is so often played as if it were Haydn, and it is my opinion that this particular performance is the best of the lot. This is no namby-pamby classical sonata in Richter's hands, but a lion of a work.

The 'Hammerklavier' is also given a stunning performance here.

As for the three Bagatelles, which are not trifles as their title suggests, these too are exemplary performances that wring the last bit of drama out of these little masterpieces.

I'd suggest that anyone interested in the program and Richter's overall approach should read Jeffrey Lipscomb's review at the product page for the Aldeburgh recital: Beethoven: Sonatas Nos. 29 "Hammerklavier" & 3; Bagatelles Op. 126.

Scott Morrison
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richter fans should not hesitate - buy this one! September 26, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Richter collectors know that some of his many recordings are flawed by below standard sound. Or sometimes he was having an off night. I own about 250 Richter discs, so I hesitated when I saw this one. Do I really need more Richter Beethoven? Another Hammerklavier? I already owned the other performances listed by other reviewers here. The price is reasonable, though, so I bought it. I have listened to it several times now. No regrets. Richter's performance of the early sonata is outstanding, the little played Bagatelles are not the light-weight music you might expect, and the nearly unplayable Hammerklavier is excellent. This goes into the Richter top 50, no question. Good sound, superb performances. Richter fans or even those wanting to hear Richter at his best should not hesitate to acquire this disc.
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