Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sviatoslav Richter in Prague (Beethoven II)

Opus 31 n° 2 in D minor, "The Tempest", Op. 31 n° 3 in E-flat major, Op. 57 in F minor, "The Appassionata" : tension, relaxation, extreme tension. A Shakespearean spirit haunts - albeit in a diffused manner - the two nicknamed Sonatas of both of which Beethoven had said that the reading of Shakespeare's Tempest would lead to an understanding of them. To be sure there is no precise "programmatic" intention and certainly no limitation to this single reference, but in the one as in the other, and in different degrees, there is the antagonism between the wrathful agitation of the elements - and hence of man - and the elevation of the spirit. And between them a more objective, more purely musical work, devoid of major conflicts, but forming a remarkably effective bridge between the past and the present, linking the purity of the pre-classical suite and the already quite Schumannesque woodland echoes...
Pierre-E. Barbier, translated by Derek Yeld, from the booklet

Sviatoslav Richter


Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata n° 17 in D minor, Op. 31 n° 2
"The Tempest"
1 I. Largo - Allegro  9:15
2 II. Adagio  7:20
3 III. Allegretto  7:00

Piano Sonata n° 18 in E-flat major, Op. 31 n° 3
4 I. Allegro  8:58
5 II. Scherzo - Allegro vivace  4:27
6 III. Minuetto. Moderato e grazioso  4:26
7 IV. Presto con fuoco  4:07

Piano Sonata n° 23 in F minor, Op. 57
8 I. Allegro assai  10:13
9 II. Andante con moto - attacca  5:52
10 III. Allegro ma non troppo - Presto  7:21


Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded in Prague ; June 6, 1965 [# 1-7] ; & November 1, 1959 [# 8-10]


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