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Let's get Sviatoslav Richter's achievement into Perspective.


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Posted on Nov 5, 2011 7:31:50 PM PDT
I read once that he went backstage after a concerpt to scold M. Perahia for not taking a repeat.
I think it was a schubert sonata, I think I could post this is some other current thread if I had a better memory.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2011 7:57:43 PM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
George and Auntie Lynn -- There might be a video of Richter playing the "Alborado" on YouTube. Can't swear to it, but I dimly recall seeing it long ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2011 10:37:48 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Piso of course there is - what a memory CARO. Both the music and performance have me bouncing causing my house to tremble.

Sviatoslav Richter plays Ravel - Alborada del gracioso
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOq12eZh11c

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2011 2:31:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2011 2:48:25 AM PST
Mandryka says:
The 1952 Richter recording from Hungary is better recorded and IMO better played than the Prague one, George.

I don't much like the way SR takes it, though I can hear that he can do great glissandos etc. For me the key music is the slow B section. Richter plays it a bit like a Spanish picture postcard. I think Gilels finds more interesting meaning there: the performance on his Great Pianists.

But to really hear how profound this music can be, you have to go to Roger Muraro. No one comes close.

Except maybe Giulini with the Philharmonia.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2011 5:06:08 AM PST
George says:
Muraro, huh? Never heard of him.

My go-to for Ravel is Casadesus.

Posted on Nov 6, 2011 5:18:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2011 5:31:33 AM PST
Mandryka says:
Yes Casadesus is good.

Ravel comes off well with that type of dry logical pianist. Rubinstein's Ravel is very good too.

The bit of Mirrois where I think SR really is interesting is La Barque sur L'Ocean. But again I think Roger Muraro goes deeper.

Roger Muraro was Joyce Hatto's Ravel pianist, and you can't get a better recommendation than that.

Posted on Nov 6, 2011 7:08:47 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:54:12 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2011 4:11:11 AM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
Richter and Gavrilov between them played all 16 of the Handel suites at the Tours festival in 1979, and they were issued by EMI, first on lp and later on CD. They were quite recently available as 2 EMI Classics twofers at bargain price, with Richter's 1961 Abbey Road 'Tempest' sonata as a filler on the 4th CD.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2011 7:42:53 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:54:15 AM PDT]

Posted on Nov 8, 2011 7:59:28 PM PST
Handel: Keyboard Suites, Vol. 1
Handel: Keyboard Suites, Vol. 2; Beethoven: Piano Sonata, Op. 31/2

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:24:57 PM PDT
Mandryka says:
Sviatoslav Richter plays Kreisler-Rachmaninoff Liebesfreud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma4RQO5lkwQ

I like it played like this, but it's my bad taste. To me SR makes it
sound modern and interesting and exciting. But I dare say it's
unidiomatic. And I haven't explored other recordings of it very
carefully.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:43:15 PM PDT
barbW says:
as a fan, have you read if he was depressed on and off? Did he have a mental condition?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:54:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2012 5:35:14 PM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
Other notable recordings of Kreisler-Rachmaninoff "Liebesfreud" are by Rachmaninoff and Jorge Bolet. I saw Bolet play it and "Liebesleid". I didn't know there's one of Richter playing it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 10:55:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2012 10:55:54 PM PDT
Mandryka says:
There's a Liebesfreud on CD 7 of the RCA Complete Rachmaninov Edition which is absolutely marvelous.

I like what Richter does, despite the inauthenticity of it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 3:05:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 3:05:58 PM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
Rachmaninoff's Ampico piano-rolls are on CD of his arrangement of his friend Fritz Kreisler's "Liebesfreud". I remember it as longer than the flat disc versions, which may have been abbreviated.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012 3:05:50 PM PDT
Mandryka says:
Beethoven's Op15 has been very much at the front of my mind recently, the first piano concerto. It's now my preferred Beethoven concerto I think.

I'm curious about what people think of Richter/Eschenbach, recorded nearly 30 years after the famous one with Munch.

The performance is so challenging, especially in the allegro, that's it's easy to have a knee jerk reaction and say it's just not very good. An off day with an unsympathetic conductor. That was my initial reaction.

But I don't think things are so simple. First, Richter himself was proud of the performance (p327 of the Notebooks.) Second, the largo shows he is far from having an off day -- IMO his performance there is more impressive than with Munch. Same for the astonishing first movement cadenza. True the third movement is slower than we normally hear - but historically informed performances sometimes play it even slower (Schnooderwoerd), so maybe Richter and Eschenbach were on to something there.

It's the Allegro which is the problem. When you see allegro con brio you expect more vigour . But repeated listening is convincing me that there are ideas in that performance, they've thought it through. They've made it into something extremely dark and serious, which is maybe not what we're used to in this concerto. But there are some strikingly serious and deep things in the music, both in the orchestral intro and in the piano part later on. So maybe that way of playing it is not without some basis.

I don't know, and I wonder what other people think. I will say it's a performance I find fascinating, difficult and in a way, more interesting than the ones with Munch and Ancerl and Kondrashin from the 1960s.

I would say similar things about the Mozart concerto 18 with Barshai, by the way. And the Mozart 24 with Muti.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012 5:40:48 PM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
Richter thought his Beethoven First with Munch one of his best records. He didn't like his Brahms Second with Leinsdorf, or even surprisingly his Dvorak concerto with Carlos Kleiber, one of his favorite conductors.

I have his Mozart 5 and 25, and have heard his 20 and 22, the latter too slow and a little plodding. I don't remember his 18 or 24.

He is very outspoken inhis "Notebooks", commenting on hundreds f records and performances, his own and others, even though Bruno Monsangion says he edited out the most defamatory passages.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012 10:30:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2012 10:41:36 PM PDT
Mandryka says:
One thing I've found with Richter is that in classical style music, he's often unconventionally slow. Mozart, Schubert, early Beethoven. And I'm sure most people just say "too slow"like you. What i've found is that it's worth persisting, it's worth rising to the challenge, worth giving him the chance to confound your expectations. You know, he was a serious musician, he's thought about what he's doing quite hard, and there are often very good reasons. And Richter's art is high art after all: high art isn't easy.

Same for Yudina, who's often "too fast" in Mozart and early Beethoven..

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 1:02:46 AM PDT
Mandryka and Piso - Maybe Sviatoslav was at his BEST, in Russian music. Maybe, his various recordings of Schubert Piano Sonatas were in the same vein, also. The man could practice piano, for many hours, and achieve great results in Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and any others, that received his talents. Of the Russian pianists (incl. Gilels) of those who could sustain the "grand tradition" (esp. after WW2), he is probably ... the last of a breed.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 1:55:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2012 5:19:44 AM PDT
Mandryka says:
I don't know. I'm not interested enough in Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky to comment. His Scriabin is good as is his Prokofiev and Shostakovich. But I don't sense he had a stronger affinity for Russian composers than for Ravel or Debussy or Brahms, or Liszt or Beethoven. Or Haydn for that matter.

He wasn't the last of a breed at all. There are plenty of Russian pianists who are in the same trandition -- Lubimov, for example. And Sokolov. And Pletnev. Just without thinking too hard. And if we consider those born behind the iron curtain and who recieved a traditional soviet formation, the list is much longer, and would include Virssaladze and Pogorelich for example.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 9:18:14 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
Richter himself famously said his favorite composer was Haydn. He's especially good in Schumann, and I usually prefer that to his Chopin. His, Bach, Beethoven and Schubert can be very strong. His Brahms Paganini Variations were recorded too late to catch him at his best. He's good in chamber music ... Ravel, Brahms, Beethoven, Franck, Shostakovich.

He didn't like to repeat works too often, preferring to play things new and fresh to him. He also was hardly a completist in anything. And if he found someone else's performance of certain works ideal, he skipped them himself (Heinrich Neuhaus's Emperor Concerto and Chopin E-minor; Gary Graffman's Rachmaninoff Paganini Rhapsody, &tc.).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 10:44:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2012 10:54:27 AM PDT
Mandryka says:
In my opinion his Schumann is good, but it is not quite as surpassingly excellent as some other composers he played . . .there are things in Debussy, Ravel and even Mozart and late Brahms which, for me, are really without peer. I would't say that about any of the Schumann I've heard.

The big eye opener for me, by the way, was those Hungary recordings published a couple of years ago. I knew he was an important pianist before I heard some of the things in that set, but I had no idea just how powerful he could be. It's because of that box that I would say he is the greatest pianist on record. Greater in range than Cortot or Sofro. Rachmaninov didn't record enough serious music.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 11:21:27 AM PDT
Dichterliebe says:
Richter's WTC is quite good in places. Some odd tempi, but otherwise I like his Bach very much. Gavrilov also, although Gavrilov's is more indulgent, more Romantic.

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 11:21:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2012 11:25:58 AM PDT
There is a new limited edition import Richter series, which claims remastered recordings. It looks interestiing:

Richter Performs Schumann (from Opp. 12, 13, 26)
Richter - Prokofiev
Richter & Friends - Dvorak: Piano Quintet, Op. 81
Sviatoslav Richter

I don't know whether these are reissues, as I haven't bought any of them, but I would assume they are.

Also, there has finally been a reissue of what is easily my all-time favorite recording of the Brahms Piano Quintet, a 1958 mono recording with Richter & the Borodin Quartet!! It's pricey here on Amazon (presently $30), but fortunately can be found on Presto Classical for $15:

Sviatoslav Richter Plays German Romantic Masterpieces (Beethoven: Pathetique Sonata / Liszt: Annes de Pelerinage / Brahms: Piano Quintet, Op. 34 / Schumann: Tocca, Op. 7 / Chopin: Etudes)

And soon to be released:

December Nights 1985

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 11:49:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2012 2:00:06 PM PDT
Mandryka says:
I have that December Nights CD, so I'm quite surprised that it's being pitched as something new. I got it about 18 months ago. It contains a performance of the quintet from 1985

There's a recording of the quintet on Teldec from 1994 which I think is emotionally deeper.

The Dvorak quintet is good, though there are some eccentric tempos. Worth knowing.

I think I've said that before but the record of the Brahms with the Tatrai is I think more interesting than the one with the Borodins.

I haven't really thought about his different records of the Symphonic Etudes. That could be an interesting way to pass an afternoon.

If the Prokofiev sonatas are the live ones from Moscow then the CD is worth getting -- and I'd be curious about the remastering.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  76
Initial post:  Sep 11, 2009
Latest post:  Sep 9, 2012

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