Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sviatoslav Richter Plays Chopin & Scriabin

The present programme illustrates a number of essential aspects of Chopin's music. The earliest pieces are the Nocturnes. The Opus 72 n° 1 in E minor dates from 1827, but was published posthumously in 1855. It shows the improvisational nature and the freedom which this form permits and to which are added discreet confidences. The Op. 10 Etudes, dedicated to Liszt, were published in 1833 in Leipzig and Paris, whereas the Op. 25, dedicated to Marie d'Agoult, was not published for another four years. Each of these studies treats one or more specific instrumental problem and served as the basis for Chopin's teaching which he exercised particularly in Paris where he settled at the end of 1831. The Etude Op. 10 n° 10, in the form of a perpetuum mobile, demands a particular suppleness in the right wrist in order to render the series of chords which are alternately legato and staccato. The following, absolutely contemporary, concentrates on the equality of sonorities between the two hands. The progressions in broken chords create a definite nocturnal atmosphere. The Etude Op. 10 n° 4 was not completed until the summer of 1832 and adds a specific use of the thumbs on the black keys to the equality of the two hands. (Richter has a particular affection for this brief piece which is related to Bach's Preludes.) The Etude Op. 25 n° 5 remains one of the most original with its central più mosso song which Scriabin would subsequently recall. N° 8, still vivace, is devoted to sixths, whereas N° 11, the longest of them all, progresses from lento to allegro con brio in a whirl of semiquavers, concluding fortissimo. The last, N° 12 (1836), is considered the most difficult in terms of virtuosity due to its progressions of arpeggios. The Nocturne Op. 62 n° 2, published in Paris in 1846 and one of the most dense, owes to its central sostenuto this melancholy tint and the taut harmony which characterise the period when the composer was breaking off with George Sand. The contemporary Polonaise-fantaisie, Op. 61, was published by Brandus in Paris at the same time as the Op. 62 Nocturnes. This score, filled with elegiac sadness, distances itself from the rhythm and the slow, grave processional form of the original polonaise. It remains one of the Polish composer's most personal and elusive works : its sudden smiles and somersaults, its rhapsodic nature leave the performer free rein for expressing his own conception of this ballad which is both painful and heroic.
Pierre-E. Barbier, translated by Derek Yeld, from the booklet      

Sviatoslav Richter


Frédéric Chopin

Etudes, Op. 10
1 N° 1 in C-Sharp minor. Presto  1:55
2 N° 10 in A-Flat major. Vivace assai  2:00
3 N° 11 in E-Flat major  1:45

Etudes, Op. 25
4 N° 5 in E minor. Vivace  3:25
5 N° 8 in D-Flat major. Vivace  1:15
6 N° 11 in A minor. Lento  3:50
7 N° 12 in C minor. Allegro molto con fuoco  2:35

Two Nocturnes
8 Op. 62 n° 2, in E major. Lento  5:45
9 Op. 72 n° 1 in E minor. Andante  4:05

10 Polonaise n° 7 in A-flat, Op. 61 "Polonaise-Fantaisie"  11:55


Alexander Scriabin

Piano sonata n° 2 in G-Sharp minor "Fantasie-Sonata", Op. 19
11 I. Andante  7:30
12 II. Presto  3:25

13 Piano Sonata n° 5 in F-Sharp major, Op. 53  10:45


Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded Czech Radio Broadcasts ; July, 1988 (Chopin) ; & September/October, 1972 (Scriabin)


Luciano said...

Thx Mel!

vsense said...

Richter is the master.


ceb said...

Richter IS the Master. Thanks so much for this and all you share

george said...

Many thanks, Mel!

musician3 said...

AMAZING..........................THANK YOU FOR ALL

Melanchthon said...


Charlie Siefert said...

May you be blessed for your efforts at educating the world in the finest music!