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Sviatoslav Richter Web Contributions

Paul Geffen
Boston, Massachusetts
USA


Among the very finest of Richter's recordings must be the French and English Suites of J. S. Bach, recorded at various locations in 1991 and released on three Stradivarius CDs, numbers 33333, 33334, and 33335. (Some of the same pieces may also be found in the Philips Authorised Recordings set but the first English Suite is only on Stradivarius.) Here is the ideal combination of technical wizardry and deep insight, a variety of moods and textures comparable in range to those found in the Sonatas of Beethoven but in miniature. I imagine that Sebastian himself would play it like this if he had a modern instrument. Richter's way of presenting these works is very much in the baroque spirit and sound, with minimal pedal, lively (even sprightly) rhythms, and perfect clarity of line. There is not a false note to be found anywhere in these remarkable documents. The recordings are also technically among the very best of this artist's last years.

Paul Geffen
e-mail: lpaul@shore.net
Boston, Massachusetts
http://www.shore.net/~lpaul/music.html
Classical Discographies and Reviews


John W. Lambert
Raleigh, North Carolina
USA


I first heard Richter on the wonderful Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto recording with Leinsdorf (RCA Lp); that performance remains one of my great favorites--and I suspect that the way they played the 3rd mvt, in particular, is the preferred approach in heaven! His Schubert and Schumann discs that were issued in the United States on Vox Cum Laude Lps are pretty wonderful, too.

John W. Lambert
Columnist and music critic
SPECTATOR
Raleigh, North Carolina
USA
email: JLAMBERT@dhr.state.nc.us


Heinrich Meister
Köln, Deutschland


Momentan ist meine beliebteste Richter Aufnahme der neue 2CD- Midprice-Sampler der Deutschen Grammophon Gesellschaft (erschienen 1997) mit dem Titel "in memoriam". Dort sind Stuecke enthalten, von deren Existenz in so guter Klangqualitaet (nach meiner Meinung fuer Richter-Aufnahmen ein wichtiges Kriterium) ich bisher nichts wusste, aber besonders nach meinem Geschmack befindet sich dort die beste Interpretation von Debussy's "Estampes", die ich jemals gehoert habe.

Meine "Hitparade" der Schallplattenaufnahmen (nicht nur derjenigen von Richter) ist einem staendigen -beinahe taeglichen- Wandel unterworfen. Somit stehe ich Rangordnungen dieser Art sehr skeptisch gegenueber.

Dr. Heinrich Meister
USTB KÖLN
e-mail: MEISTER@HARDTHOEHE.UB.UNI-KOELN.DE
Köln, Deutschland


Heinrich Meister
Cologne, Germany


At the moment my favourite Richter recording is the new 2CD Midprice Richter Sampler on DGG (1997 release) entitled "In memoriam". There are pieces I didn't know existed in good quality sound (in my opinion, an important criterion for Richter), especially the finest interpretation of Debussy's Estampes that I have ever heard.

My Hit Parade (not only the Richter recordings) is ever-changing, so I am very sceptical about any ranking of this kind.

Dr. Heinrich Meister
USTB KÖLN
e-mail: MEISTER@HARDTHOEHE.UB.UNI-KOELN.DE
Cologne, Germany


Andrew F Wilson
London, England


My suggestions for inclusion in your Richter discography are:
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier
RCA Victor GD 60949

Mozart: Sonatas K282, K545, K310
Philips 422 583-2

Andrew F Wilson
Institution of Electrical Engineers
London, England
email: afwilson@iee.org.uk
http://www.iee.org.uk/


Ates Tanin
Toronto, Canada


Despite the indifferent sound and the "marmorial" quality of his playing, Richter's Well-Tempered Clavier, along with Feinberg's, has a special place in terms of it's synthesis of the Russian and German ways of playing Bach on the piano. The tempo of the last movement of the Appassionata from Moscow (1960) seems to reach beyond the human limit, especially regarding the presto at the end. It always reminds me of the story I once heard of Anton Rubinstein, who started the same movement at such a fast tempo but stopped near the end, got up and spat at the piano before walking out. Richter played Debussy throughout his career and often included a piece by him as an encore. I personally prefer the Preludes from Spoleto but since that has not yet appeared on CD, I chose the ones on Pyramid. I do not know whether that CD is still available in Europe. If not, any other Debussy by Richter of your choice could also serve the purpose. The Parnassus discs contain several vintage Richter items: The live Tchaikovsky Sonata is the best available; the live Prokofiev's 7th Sonata is much more secure than his recordings from the 70's and the live Mussorgsky's Pictures from Moscow is I think a more exciting performance than the one from the well-known Sofia recital. Not to mention the exquisite Scriabin Sonatas No.2 and No.6 and full-blooded versions of Schumann's Fantasiestücke and Abegg Variations.

Dr. Ates Tanin
Toronto, Canada
email: atanin@alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca


Scott Graham
Minneapolis, Minnesota
USA


Richter plays Beethoven Sonatas Vo.1: Sonatas No.3, 4, 17, 18, 23, 32 Music & Arts CD 910 Despite a few technical slips, this performance of the Appassionata recorded live on 1 Nov 1959 is one of the best on record.

Scott Graham
Minneapolis, MN
USA


John Grant
Canada


It's heartening to see so much interest in Richter, perhaps now that he's gone! I am a huge fan of his recording of the 48 Preludes and Fugues. (Actually, the "recording" is, in fact, a compilation of a number of separate recordings made at various times, and at different locations.) His renditions of some (but not all) of the 48 are in a transcendant realm, unequaled by any performer, and probably unequaled as musical performances in any genre. Being Canadian, I have of course the Glenn Gould recording. Completely different, obviously. And probably impossible to compare.

John Grant
Canada
email: dohgrant@idirect.com


Sol Siegel
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
USA


Good Starts:
"Sviatoslav Richter: un portrait", a 4-CD set on EMI that includes three sonatas of Beethoven; Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy and D. 664 sonata; Schumann's Fantasia in C, Papillons, Sonata No. 2 and Faschingsschwank aus Wien; Berg's Chamber Concerto; and Prokofiev's 5th piano concerto. The Wanderer, Faschingsschwank aus Wien and Schumann sonata are among the greatest piano recordings, period. The rest are "merely" wonderful. Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Leinsdorf/Chicago on RCA, with Beethoven's Appassionata. Schumann's Concerto and other works (his Toccata has to be heard to be believed) on DG The Originals. Schubert's D. 845 A minor Sonata, Schumann's Humoreske, and Franck's Prélude, Chorale et Fugue, with various couplings on BMG/Melodiya or Monitor. The two Liszt concerti on Philips Duo. (The B minor Sonata that comes with it, alas, was one of his off days.) And, if you can find copies: The 1958 Sofia recital (the greatest Mussorgsky Pictures yet). Rachmaninoff: 13 preludes and other works (last seen on Olympia).

Sol Siegel
Philadelphia, PA
USA
email: vodnik@aol.com
(Vodnik)


Don Messina
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
USA


J. S. Bach: Book I Well-Tempered Clavier
RCA Victor GD 60949
(klassiknet note: according to BMG France, this recording is no longer available in many markets. The company was unable to specify a reissue date.)


Marnix Fransen
Antwerpen, Belgium


Richter's playing in Das Wohltemperierte Klavier on RCA is characterised by unmatched strength and vision. His 1991 Bach recital on LCL 421 demonstrates that his muscical power remained unimpaired until his death. The Transcendental Studies and Miroirs on Praga 354057 must be heard to be believed. So too, for his Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 on Supraphon. The building up of the coda. His Debussy playing is far mare atmospheric than Michelangeli's Deutsche Grammophon 447 355-2 and STR 33353.


Stephen Green
Toronto, Ontario
Canada


J.S. Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II
Le Chant du Monde
LDC 278525-2 and LDC 278528-2


Cullan Bryant
New York, NY
USA


Beethoven : Variations, Opp 34, 35, 76
Olympia
CD 339

Arguably the finest of Richter's studio recordings alongside the Schumann Toccata and Waldszenen for Deutsche Grammophon. The Eroica wins out over any of the three live versions available.



Alan Li
Tsuen Wan, N.T.
Hong Kong


Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Stanislaw Wislocki, conductor.
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1
Wiener Symphoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon "The Originals"
CD 447 420-2

Sviatoslav Richter Edition
Scriabin: 12 Etudes; Piano Sonata No.6 Op.62
Nikolai Myaskovsky: Piano Sonata No.3 in C minor, Op.19
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.7 in B-flat Major, Op.83
Melodia 74321 29470 2

In my opinion, this is the best recording of Scriabin's Etudes and Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No.7.

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