Monday, October 30, 2017

Sviatoslav Richter Plays Schumann

Richter was not one of those juvenile prodigies into whose laps everything falls unbidden. He was nearly 30 when he finished his study of the piano in Moscow under the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus. He was a late developer, a self-doubter, a loner. He originally wanted to be a conductor. He was born in Shitomir in the Ukraine on 20 March 1915 ; his father hailed from a family of professional musicians who had emigrated from Germany ; his mother settled near Stuttgart after the Second World War, and heard about her son's career only at second hand - she did not see him again until 1960, when he made his debut in New York. No one knows how much the political situation in his homeland opressed Richter ; his private life is a secret ; he does not give lectures, he was written no books. He is the sphinx of the piano, and is marvelled at like the sphinx. He is an introvert condemned by his own nature and by the climate of the times to make a secret of himself.
The correspondences between Richter's isolation and that of Robert Schumann imbue his interpretations of Schumann with imagination, sadness and fervour. Schumann's works for piano are monologues for two hands, confessions, fragments of autobiography, preludes to dream-worlds. Richter has traversed wide tracts of Schumann's cosmos, including regions that others have ignored. The recordings reissued here date from the years 1955-62, when the pianist was in his forties, and the West had only recently learnt his name. International fame found him at an age when other virtuosos have already conquered the world's concert halls. The uncommonly late debut exacted a toll, not least because he had to live up to the early recordings which went before him were hailed as sensations...
Karl Schumann (transaltion Mary Whittall), from the booklet

Sviatoslav Richter
Robert Schumann


Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
1 I. Des Abends. Sehr innig  4:13
2 II. Aufschwung. Sehr rasch  2:52
3 III. Warum ? Langsam und zart  3:21
4 V. In der Nacht. Mit Leidenschaft  3:49
5 VII. Traumes Wirren. Äussert lebhaft  2:07
6 VIII. Ende vom Lied. Mit gutem Humor  5:22

Marsch in G Minor, Op. 76 n° 2
7 Sehr kräftig - Etwas ruhiger - Erstes Tempo  3:27

Waldszenen, Op. 82
8 I. Eintritt. Nicht zu schnell  2:01
9 II. Jäger auf der Kauer  1:09
10 III. Einsame Blumen. Einfach  2:01
11 IV. Verrufene Stelle. Ziemlich langsam  3:19
12 V. Freundliche Landschaft. Schnell  1:10
13 VI. Herberge. Mässig  2:20
14 VII. Vogel als Prophet. Langsam, sehr zart  2:45
15 VIII. Jaglied. Rasch, kräftig  2:12
16 IX. Abschied. Nicht schnell  3:39

Novelette F Major, Op. 21 n° 1
17 Markiert und kräftig  5:12

Toccata in C Major, Op. 7
18 Allegro  6:32

Thema und Varationen über den Namen Abegg, Op. 1
19 Tema. Animato - Var. I-III


Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded at Rudolfinum, Hauptsaal, Prag ; November 1956 [# 1-16] ; Philharmonie, Warschau ; May 1959 [# 17 & 18] ; in Italy (Live) ; November 1962 [# 19]


dreadco said...

Richter is becoming my favorite pianist. Thank you very much.

Chuckie69 said...

Richter has become my favorite pianist!!
Thank You>

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Sviatoslav's thanks Mel

Melanchthon said...