Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sviatoslav Richter in Prague (Schubert & Liszt)

Of all the great Viennese composers who belonged to the Romantic period between 1820 and 1830, Schubert's language was the most unpretentious and the most limpid, the most immediately accessible to the listener, which renders the task of a musical analysis of his work rather schoolmasterly when confonted with its emotional import. Just as Mozart, at the end of his life, had summarized the essential point of his message in last three symphonies, two months before hi early death Schubert wrote a trilogy in a different medium, three Piano Sonatas, one in C major, D 958, another in A, D 959, and the last one in B-flat major, D 960, which constitute more of a spiritual testament than an instrumental one. In this very yaer, 1828, Chopin composed his Sonata in C minor, Op. 4, Berlioz was at work on his Symphonie Fantastique after reading Gérard de Nerval's translation of Goethe's Faust, while Rossini finished his Guillaume Tell, and Hegel had just published his Philosophie des Geschichte. Schubert, who knew that he was doomed, no longer found a distraction to his increasingly oppressive loneliness in the famous musical evenings, the "Schubertiads", and for the past four years he had cherished a hopeless love for the young Countess Caroline Esterhazy. He dedicated the Fantasy in F minor, D 940, completed in April, to her, with the intention of playing the piano duet with her. The death of Beethoven on march 26, 1827 left him sometthing of an orphan. The autority of his "Titan" had long served as a pretext to disparage the compositions, often unmindful of form, of poor Schubert, the petit bourgeois of Vienna, whose uneventful, lustreless life cannot explain the radiance and the universality of his last works. To this irritating enigma posed by the psychologically inexplicable art of Schubert (Boris de Schloezer) Proust, in his observation on Bergotte, might suggest a solution : "[...] the men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate surroundings, whose conversation is the most brilliant, or whose culture is the most extensive, but those who have the power, ceasing suddenly to live for themselves, to turn their personality into a kind of mirror, in such a way that their life, however mediocre it might be socially and even, in a certain sense, intellectually, is reflected by it, genius consisting in reflecting power and not in the intrinsic quality of the scene reflected." Even if the composer of the Winterreise did not claim to be the "magic" mirror, he succeded in preserving his individual personality while moving about in a world very much his own and in which he could roam as his fancy willed, while making changes in the classical forms, particulary those of the sonata.
Pierre-E. Barbier, translated by Derek Yeld, from the booklet

Sviatoslav Richter
Schubert & Liszt


Franz Schubert

Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D 960
1 I. Molto moderato  25:44
2 II. Andante sostenuto  9:53
3 III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace con delicatezza - Trio  3:34
4 IV. Allegro ma non troppo  7:40

Impromptu Op. 90 n° 4, D 899
5 Allegretto  7:37


Franz Liszt

6 Polonaise in E major, S 223 n° 2  8:32


Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded in Prague ; September 24, 1972 [# 1-5] ; & June 10, 1956 [# 6]


Melanchthon said...


Michel said...


pedro gamundi said...


sandalo said...

El link parece que no funciona. Agradecería si pudiera revisarse. En cualquier caso muchas gracias por su magnifico blog

Melanchthon said...