Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sviatoslav Richter - The Authorised Recordings

Once you get above a certain level in the musical career stakes, unpredictability can be a major asset. There's nothing that raises the tension at the start of a potentially outstanding concert more than an element of doubt - will the great performer deign to appear at all ? The Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter has refined this art to a degree no other musician - not even in the opera house - can quite match.
I remember the excited murmur that ran round the Amsterdam Concertgebouw auditorium one June evening in 1986 as Richter appeared, descended the stairs and seated himself carefully at the piano. Was he actually going to play ?
After that the unforeseeables multiply. Will the house lights dip so low you can hardly see your programme, let alone read it, as at last year's Barbican concerts? Or will there be other enigmas : the piano lid firmly down for a barely audible Bach sequence, then flung wide open for a Beethoven sonata that seems addressed to the whole world, not just one tiny concert hall? London has seen that too.
But in Richter: The Authorised Recordings, a 21-CD set from Philips Classics of mixed concert and studio recordings (many not previously released), the attention is focused on the music-making and nothing else. One overriding impression is that, no matter how volatile, brilliant, dramatic or downright bizarre Richter's playing, one quality it is quite free from is vulgar showmanship. You may question some of his artistic decisions, but they are almost always the result of serious consideration. The first movement of Schubert's G major Sonata, D 894, is breathtakingly slow - the opening hardly seems to move at all. Richter's argument is that Schubert's marking, Molto moderato, refers to the quaver beat, not the dotted crotchet. In pure musicological terms, I don't imagine many Schubertians will be convinced, yet somehow Richter's concentrated, intensely absorbed playing persuaded me to suspend disbelief. Even the weird decision to repeat exposition and introduction in the Beethoven Quintet for piano and wind, Op 16, has a kind of perverse justification. This time it doesn't come off, and yet the playing is so vital, with such joyously spontaneous give and take between the piano and the four wind soloists, that it's tempting to forget those tiresome structural signposts and enjoy - well, almost.
However alive and sharply intelligent the playing, it would be wrong to claim that Richter is equally at home with all the composers included here. His Chopin, for instance, has always been controversial, not because he brings startling new readings, but because of an untypical blurring of the artistic focus. Richter has admitted that he finds the classical and romantic tendencies in Chopin difficult to balance, and you can feel it in the way the playing seems passionately involved one moment, unrelenting or withdrawn the next.
But along with Chopin in that three-CD sub-set is a disc and a half of some of the most riveting Liszt playing I can remember. The prophet, the fantasist and the romantic visionary are all there, this time well-balanced. Liszt can so easily come over as an empty exhibitionist - 'tawdry and swaggering', as Neville Cardus put it. But in some of the short pieces, and especially in the Sonata, Richter finds an inner continuity, almost - if not quite - as compelling as in Beethoven or Schubert.
Listeners who enjoy pouncing on minute blemishes would no doubt have a rapturous time here. Quite a few of the live performances have their wrong notes, sometimes in thunderous fistfuls, and there are other moments where - to borrow an image from Browning - Richter's reach seems momentarily to have exceeded his grasp (though his technical grasp remains formidable). All this confirms to me is that here is a performer who is not afraid to take risks, who even revels in them. I'm reminded of Artur Schnabel's reply to a conductor who asked if he wanted to re- record a gloriously fudged passage in the Brahms First Piano Concerto - did he think he could do it better ? 'It might be better,' replied Schnabel, 'but it could never be as good.'
This risk-taking is one facet of a larger phenomenon - perhaps the essence of Richter's Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and Prokofiev. 'Spontaneity' somehow doesn't seem a big enough term to describe it. In tiny details as much as in grand gestures, he can give the impression that the music is not merely being played but created before your ears. Richter doesn't approach Beethoven as a monument, to be treated with a certain reverent distance; in places it's as though you were listening to one of the composer's own improvisations. The climactic sforzando in the opening bars of the Sonata in E flat, Op 31 No 3, is so perfectly judged it sounds as if it had only just occurred to him - a momentary inspiration.
For Richter at his greatest, a performance is not a one-man show but a meeting of two minds, composer and performer. Horowitz is Horowitz, whatever he plays. Richter's Mozart feels a long way from his Beethoven, or even his Haydn. In the latter one feels something of the Beethovenian volatility and intellectual brilliance, but combined with telling sensitivity and delicacy - a lighter touch.
His Mozart is no Dresden figurine, especially not in the great C minor Sonata and Fantasia, but at the same time one feels that this is a performer who knows his Austrian rococo. From that to the German High Baroque of Bach is more than a step or two. Purists would no doubt balk at some of Richter's tempos, especially in so- called 'slow' movements - if they allow Bach on the piano at all, that is. Those who persist will find playing that seems well aware of how the harpsichord colours and textures Bach, but which is able to translate that insight into purely pianistic terms. And there can't be many harpsichords that could sing the central aria from the Italian Concerto so freely, eloquently and stylishly.
Obviously Richter : The Authorised Recordings is aimed at those with above average credit-ratings, though the nine individual boxes within the set will be issued separately in October. When they are, I hope the booklets manage to squeeze in more information about which recordings are live and which studio-made. Not that it makes a great deal of difference to the quality of playing. In one or two of the studio recordings the manner seems more thoughtful, less spontaneous, and yet there can be glorious things there too. The selection from Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues has a special absorption, an inwardness in the quieter numbers that again I have never heard equalled - and the sustained tremolo in the E flat minor Prelude is a pianistic miracle. If only he'd recorded the whole cycle. Acquiring the nine sub-sets (two or three CDs apiece) may be a more attractive proposition, but I wouldn't be without any of them. To those who complain wistfully that the age of great pianism is long past, this Philips set is an emphatic denial.
STEPHEN JOHNSON


Source : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/music--when-two-minds-meet-sviatoslav-richter-has-raised-unpredictability-to-an-art-but-when-hes-good-hes-great-stephen-johnson-reports-on-the-21cd-authorised-edition-1414230.html


Sviatoslav Richter
The Authorised Recordings
(Box Set)

Tracks

*

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)

Cd.1

Piano Sonata in F, K. 280
1 Allegro assai  7:05
2 Adagio  9:40
3 Presto  3:29

Piano Sonata in B flat, K. 333
4 Allegro  10:11
5 Andante cantabile  13:33
6 Allegro grazioso  6:27


 Piano Sonata in G, K. 283
7 Allegro  5:49
8 Andante  6:39
9 Presto  5:34


*

Cd. 2

Piano Sonata in F , K. 533/494
1 Allegro, K. 533 11:19
2 Andante, K. 533 14:32
3 Rondo (Allegreto), K. 494  6:05
4 Applause  0:39 

Fantasia in C minor K. 475
5 Adagio - Allegro - Andantino - Più
allegro - Tempo I  14:06 

Piano Sonata in Cminor, K. 457
6 Molto allegro  8:48
7 Adagio  7:41
8 Allegro assai  5:46
9 Applause  0:54

*

Franz Schubert
(1797-1828)

Cd. 1

Piano Sonata in G, D. 894
1 Molto moderato e cantabile  26:51
2 Andante  8:16
3 Menuetto. Allegro moderato  4:36
4 Allegretto  8:14

*

Cd. 2

Piano Sonata in B, D. 575
1 Allegro, ma non troppo  7:49
2 Andante  5:41
3 Scherzo. Allegretto  6:24
4 Allegro giusto  4:13

Piano Sonata in C, D. 840
5 Moderato  22:28
6 Andante  10:09
7 Menuetto. Allegretto  5:49
8 Rondo. Allegro  7:19

*

Russian Piano Works

Cd. 1

Alexander Scriabin
(1872-1915)

1 Poème-Nocturne, Op. 61  8:19
2 Danses, Op. 73
2 N° 1 Guirlandes  3:40
3 N° 2 Flammes sombres  2:08
4 Vers la flamme, Op. 72  6:47
5 Fantasie in B minor, Op. 28  9:35


Sergueï Prokofiev
(1891-1953)

Piano Sonata for Piano n° 4 in C minor, Op. 29
6 I. Allegro molto sostenuto  5:57
7 II. Andante assai  8:28
8 III. Allegro con brio, ma non leggiero  4:15

Sonata n° 6 in A major, Op. 82
9 I. Allegro moderato  8:41
10 II. Alegretto  3:47
11 III. Tempo di valzer lentissimo  6:19
12 IV. Vivace  6:11

*



Cd. 2

1 Légende, Op. 12 n° 6  3:39

Visions fugitives, Op. 22
(Extracts)
2 N°3 Allegretto  1:13
3 N°4 Animato  0:51
4 N°5 Molto giocoso  0:22
5 N°6 Con eleganza  0:28
6 N°8 Commodo  1:29
7 N°9 Allegretto tranquillo  1:02
8 N°11 Con vivacità  0:55
9 N°14 Feroce  0:57
10 N°15 Inquieto  0:44
11 N°18 Con una dolce lentezza  1:36
 
Four Pieces, Op. 32
(Extracts)
12 N° 1 Danza  2:38
13 N° 4 Waltz  3:14
Pieces from "Cinderella"
14 Quarrel. Moderato. Allegro irato, op. 102/3  3:22
15 Gavotte. Allegretto, op. 95/2  2:23
16 Autumn Fairy. Allegro moderato, op. 97/3  1:01
17 Oriental Dance. Andante dolce, op. 97/6  1:42
18 Grand Waltz. Cinderella and the Prince. Allegretto, op. 102/1  6:17

*

Dmitri Shostakovich
(1906-1975)

24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87
(Extracts)
19 N° 14 in E flat  9:43
20 N° 17 in A flat  5:39
21 N° 15 in D flat  4:50
22 N° 4 in E minor  8:17
23 N° 12 in G sharp minor  8:12
24 N°23 in F  5:27

*

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)

 Cd. 1

Piano Sonata n° 19 in G minor, Op. 49 n° 1
1 I. Andante  5:35
2 II. Rondo. Allegro  3:40

Piano Sonata n° 20 in G, Op. 49 n° 2
3 I. Allegro ma non troppo  5:00
3 II. Tempo di menuetto  3:58

Piano Sonata n° 22 in F, Op. 54
5 I. In tempo d'un menuetto  6:03
6 II. Allegretto  6:12

Piano Sonata n° 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"
7 I. Allegro assai  11:39
8 II. Andante con moto  6:49
9 III. Allegro ma non troppo  8:33
 
*

Cd. 2

Piano Sonata n° 30 in E, Op. 109
1 I. Vivace, ma non troppo - Adagio espressivo - Tempo I  3:32
2 II. Prestissimo  2:33
3 III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung
(Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo)  12:11

Piano Sonata n° 31 in A-Flat major, op. 110 
4 I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo  6:20
5 II. Allegro molto   2:47

6 III. Adagio, ma non troppo  3:53
7 Fuga. Allegro, ma non troppo  7:30

Piano Sonata n° 32 in C minor, op. 111 
8 I. Maestoso  1:35
9 Allegro con brio ed appassionato  7:11
10 II. Arietta. Adagio molto semplice e cantabile  16:46

*

Ludwig van Beethoven [II]
(Suite)

Cd. 1

Piano Sonata n° 18 in E flat, Op. 31 n° 3
1 I. Allegro  10:02
2 II. Scherzo. Allegretto vivace  5:10
3 III. Menuetto. Moderato e grazioso  4:43
4 IV. Presto con fuoco  5:03
 
5 Rondo in C, Op. 51 n° 1  5:30
6 Rondo in G, Op. 51 n° 2  8:58

Piano Sonata n° 28 in A, Op. 101
7 I. Etwas lebhaft und mit der innigsten Empfindung.
Allegretto ma non troppo  4:30
8 II. Lebhaft, marschmässig. Vivace alla marcia  5:46
9 III. Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll. Adagio ma non troppo,
con affetto  2:51
10 IV. Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr, und mit Entschlossenheit.
Allegro  7:03

*


Cd. 2

Piano Trio n° 7 in B flat, Op. 97
"Archduke"
1 I. Allegro moderato  13:55
2 II. Scherzo. Allegro  7:22
3 III. Andante cantabile, ma pero con moto - Più adagio  13:05
4 IV. Allegro moderato  7:58

Members of the
Borodin Quartet
Mickhail Kopelman - vl
Valentin Berlinsky - cel

*

Quintet in E flat, Op. 16
for piano, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon
5 I. Grave. Allegro ma non troppo  16:03
6 II. Andante cantabile  5:59
7 III. Rondo. allegro, ma non troppo  6:20
 
Members of the
Quintet Moraguès
David Walter - ob
Pascal Moraguès - cl
Pierre Moraguès - hrn
Patrick Vilaire - bssn
 
*

Frederic Chopin
(1810-1849)

Etudes, Op. 10
1 N° 1 in C  2:09
2 N° 2 in A minor  1:26
3 N° 3 in E  4:08
4 N° 4 in C sharp minor  2:08
5 N° 6 in E flat minor  3:28
6 N° 10 in A flat  2:13
7 N° 11 in E flat  1:43
8 N° 12 in C minor  2:48


Etudes, Op. 25
 9 N° 5 in E minor  3:32
10 N° 6 in G sharp minor  1:54
11N° 8 in D flat  1:10
12 N° 11 in A minor  4:10

13 N° 12 in C minor  2:48
14 N° 7 in C sharp minor  5:51

Polonaises
15 N° 1 in C sharp minor, Op. 26, n° 1  9:33
16 N° 4 in C minor, Op. 40, n° 2  7:35

*


Cd. 2

Frederic Chopin

(suite)

Préludes, Op. 28
1 N° 6 in B minor  2:07
2 N° 7 in A  0:53
3 N° 8 in F sharp minor  1:32
4 N° 9 in E  1:24
5 N° 10 in C sharp minor  0:31
6 N° 11 in B  0:37
7 N° 19 in E flat  1:03
8 N° 17 in A flat  3:21
9 N° 23 in F  0:47
10 N° 24 in D minor  2:00

11 Barcarolle in F sharp, Op. 60  7:50
12 Nocturne n° 4, Op. 15, n° 1  4:31
13 Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61  13:37

*

Franz Liszt
(1811-1886)

Sonata in B minor, S. 178
14 Lento assai - Allegro energico  11:01
15 Andante sostenuto  8:19
16 Allegro energico - Andante sostenuto - Lento assai  10:03

*


Cd. 3

1 Polonaise n° 2 in E, S. 223, n° 2  9:10
2 Scherzo, S. 153  1:10
3 Trübe Wolken, S. 199  3:29
4 Consolation, S. 172, n° 6  2:57
5 Hungarian Rhapsody, S. 242, n° 17  2:35
6 Klavierstücke, S. 193  2:21
7 Mephisto Polka, S. 217  6:52
Etudes d'execution transcendante, S. 139
8 N° 1 Prélude. Presto  1:01
9 N° 2 Molto vivace  2:23
10 N° 3 Paysage. Poco adagio  5:21
11 N° 5 Feux follets. Allegretto  3:56
12 N° 7 Eroica. Allegro  5:11
13 N° 8 Wilde Jagd - Chasse sauvage - Presto furioso  5:18
14 N° 11 Harmonies du soir. Andantino  9:54
15 N° 10 Allegro agitato molto  4:46

3 Etudes de concert, S. 144  
16 N° 3 Un Sospiro  4:47

2 Etudes de concert, S. 145
17 N° 2 Gnomenreigen - Ronde des lutins  3:12

*


Johannes Brahms
(1833-1897)

Cd. 1

Piano Sonata n° 1 in C, Op. 1
1 I. Allegro  12:15
2 II. Andante  6:33
3 III. Scherzo. Allegro molto e con fuoco  6:55
4 IV. Finale. Allegro con fuoco  7:30
 
Piano Sonata n° 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 2
5 I. Allegro non troppo, ma energico  6:14
6 II. Andante con espressione  5:12
7 III. Scherzo. Allegro  3:54
8 IV. Finale (Introduzione. Sostenuto - Allegro
non troppo e rubato)  12:00

*

Cd. 2

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35
1 Book 1  13:17
2 Book 2  10:30

Klavierstücke, Op. 118
3 N°3 Ballade in G minor  3:14

Klavierstücke, Op. 119
4 N ° 4 Rhapsody in E flat  3:49

Fantasien, Op. 116
5 N° 5 Intermezzo in E minor  3:31

Klavierstücke, Op. 76
6 N ° 8 Capriccio in C  2:47

*


Robert Schumann
(1810-1856)

Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17
7 I. Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich
vorzutragen  14:21
8 II. Mässig. Durchaus energisch  7:17
9 III. Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten  11:15

*

Cd. 3

1 March in G minor, Op. 76 n° 2  3:35

Concert Studies on Caprices by Paganini, Op. 10
2 N° 4 in C minor  8:44
3 N° 5 in B minor  2:07
4 N° 6 in E minor  5:03

5 Novellette in F, Op. 21 n° 1  5:37
6 Blumenstück, Op. 19  8:00

Nachtstücke, Op. 23
7 I. Mehr langsam, oft zurückhaltend  6:00
8 II. Markiert und lebhaft  5:28
9 III. Mit grosser Lehbaftigkeit  3:35
10 Einfach  3:57

*


Johann-Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)

English Suites

English Suite n° 3 in G minor, BWV 808
  1 Prélude   3:35
2 Allemande  3:02
3 Courante  2:22
4 Sarabande  9:33
5 Gavotte I - Gavotte II ou la musette  3:03
6 Gigue  3:18


English Suite n° 4 in F, BWV 809
7 Prelude  5:12
8 Allemande  2:48
9 Courante  1:41
10 Sarabande  4:12
11 Menuet I & II  3:23
12 Gigue  3:48


English Suite n° 6 in D, BWV 811
13 Prelude  7:17
14 Allemande 3:28
15 Courante  2:41
16 Sarabande  4:18
17 Double  2:56
18 Gavotte I & II  4:01
19 Gigue  3:40


*


Cd. 2

French Suites

French Suite n° 2 in C minor, BWV 813
1 Allemande  3:02
2 Courante  2:01
3 Sarabande  3:12
4 Air 1:36
5 Menuet I & II  2:38
6 Gigue  2:17

French Suite n° 4 in E flat, BWV 815a
7 Praeludium  1:43
8 Allemande  2:31
9 Courante  1:56
10 Sarabande  3:15
11 Gavotte I & II  4:24
12 Menuet (BWV 815)  0:57

  13 Air  2:14
14 Gigue (BWV 815)  2:42

French Suite n° 6 in E, BWV 817
15 Allemande   2:49
16 Courante  1:47
17 Sarabande 4:26
18 Gavotte  1:12
19 Polonaise  1:57
20 Bourrée  1:34
21 Menuet  1:15
22 Gigue  2:32


  23 Toccata in D minor, BWV 913  12:39
24 Toccata in G, BWV 916  7:21
25 Fantasia in C minor, BWV 906  4:31

*

Cd. 3

Italian Concerto in F, BWV 971
1 --  3:57
2 Andante  5:08
3 Presto  4:20
 
French Overture in B minor, BWV 831
4 Ouverture  15:22
5 Courante  2:16
6 Gavotte I & II  3:31
7 Passepied  I & II  3:20
8 Sarabande  4:11
9 Bourrée I & II  2:53
10 Gigue  2:12
11 Echo  3:58
 
12 Duetto in E minor, BWV 802  2:38
13 Duetto II in F, BWV 803  3:03

14 Duetto III in G, BWV 804  2:20
15 Duetto IV in A minor, BWV 805  2:39 

*


Franz-Joseph Haydn
(1732-1809)

Cd. 1

Piano Sonata [n° 39] in D, Hob. XVI, n° 24
1 I. Allegro  7:08
2 II. Adagio  3:31
3 III. Finale. Presto  2:55
 
Piano Sonata [n° 62] in E flat, Hob. XVI, n° 52
3 I. Allegro  7:40
4 II. Adagio  6:30
5 III. Finale. Presto  5:14

*

Carl Maria von Weber
(1786-1826)

Piano Sonata n° 3 in D minor, Op. 49
7 I. Allegro feroce  11:17
8 II. Andante con moto  7:16
9 III. Rondo. Presto  5:47

*

Cd. 2

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)

Piano Sonata n° 9 in E, Op. 14, n° 1
1 I. Allegro  7:17
2 II. Allegretto  6:48
3 III. Rondo. Allegro comodo  2:51
 
Piano Sonata n° 11 in B flat, Op. 22
4 I. Allegro con brio  7:26
5 II. Adagio con molta espressione  9:02
6 III. Minuetto  3:20
7 IV. Rondo. allegretto  5:32
 
Piano Sonata n° 12 in A flat, Op. 26
8 I. Andante con variazioni  6:55
9 II. Scherzo. Allegro molto  2:59
10 III. Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un eroe  6:00
11 IV. Allegro  2:23
 
Piano Sonata n° 27 in E minor, Op. 90
12 I. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck  5:42
13 II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen  6:35

*

Bonus


Works from Franck, Debussy, Wagner, Chopin,
Rachmaninov, Schumann, Liszt
& Bartok

Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded in various places and locations between 1963 & 1994


See the complete artwork

6 comments:

Melanchthon said...

Bach
http://lix.in/-d63e25
http://lix.in/-d4b784

Beethoven I
http://lix.in/-d94b67

Beethoven II
http://lix.in/-d7c4c6

Chopin/Liszt
http://lix.in/-d33359
http://lix.in/-d1acb8

Scriabin/Prokofiev/Shostakovitch
http://lix.in/-d3311f

Schumann/Brahms
http://lix.in/-d640eb
http://lix.in/-dad4c4

Mozart
http://lix.in/-d63eed

Schubert
http://lix.in/-d02617

Haydn/Beethoven/Weber
http://lix.in/-dddfc2

Bonus
http://lix.in/-dad208

Adrian said...

Incredible collection!
I just hope that my Rapid free user will work better than usual...
Zippyshare would do the job in few minutes...
Thanks a lot.

Moses said...

Wow! I love Richter's playing. I was gratified recently to find the work's of Richter's friend, Vedernikov, a much less appreciated genius of the piano. Thanks hugely for this!

Otis Foster said...

Thank you melanchthon - a nice diversion from my usual playlist.

daniel genovese said...

Thank you.
It was perfect if you could up the files by another server (Rapidshare is very slow)

fcapeau said...

Great post, Mel, It reminds me of my youth, when I listen to this great pianist in concert halls.
Many thanks.