Friday, February 13, 2015

Sviatoslav Richter in Prague (Johannes Brahms)

Until the age of thirthy-five Brahms frequently appeared as a concert pianist whose repertory consisted mainly of works by other composers, like Bach, Beethoven and the Schumann couple. During his student years he was obliged to give lessons, to accompagny singers and even to play in taverns and cabarets of ill repute. Thanks to the encouragement of the Schumanns he made the acquaintance of several great musicians whom he accompanied on concert tours. As a performer he was certainly not a virtuoso capable of rivalling Tausig, Thalberg or Liszt for whom he had the greatest esteem. "Of course, we can also play the piano", he said to the poet, Klaus Groth, referring to himself among other pianists of the day, "but none of us [compared to Liszt] has more than a few fingers of his two hands". But Brahms enjoyed playing in chamber music groups more than as a soloist, which explains his large output of works incorporating the piano : duos, trios, quartets and quintets. Throughout his life he was deeply interested in didactic and technical questions related to the piano, especially under the impulse of Carl Tausig, whom he met in 1862 and who inspired his Variations on a Theme by Paganini, the most virtuosistic of all piano works. On a more explicity didactic level he endowed the piano with a number of key works, assembling, under the title of Studies for the pianoforte, arrangements of pieces by Chopin, Weber and even Bach. He transcribed the latter's celebrated Chaconne for the left hand before compiling the 51 Exercices for the pianoforte in 1893, a kind of piano method that makes explicit the technical relationship that exists between the two periods devoted to compositions for the instrument : 1851-1854 with the three Sonatas, Opp. 1, 2 and 5 ; the Scherzo, Op. 4 ; the Variations, Op. 9 and the Ballades, Op.10 ; and 1892-1893 entirely devoted to the twenty Piano Pieces, Opp. 116-119,those "monologues" that form a sort of musical testament, pages from the journal of an ageing man who for decades had "never laughed to himself."
Pierre-E. Barbier, translated by Derek Yeld, booklet

Sviatoslav Richter
in Prague
Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Piano Sonata n° 1 in C major, Op. 1

1 I. Allegro  11:54
2 II. Andante  5:50
3 III. Scherzo - Allegro molto e con fuoco  6:43
4 IV. Finale - Allegro con fuoco  7:08

Variations in D major on a Hungarian Song Op. 21 n° 2

5 Thema - Variations 1-3  7:20

Piano Sonata n°2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 2

6 I. Allegro non troppo ma energico  6:05
7 II. Andante con espressione  5:20
8 III. Scherzo : allegro  3:50
9 IV. Finale : Introduzione, sostenuto - Allegro ma non troppo e rubato  12:10


Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded Czech Radio Broadcasts, in Prague ; July 20, 1988 [# 1-4] ; June 2, 1984 [# 5] ; & in Plzeň ; June 13, 1984 [# 6-9]


pedro gamundi said...


Melanchthon said...

anders said...

thank you for all these Richter! much appreciate your work