Author Topic: Sviatoslav Richter  (Read 148879 times)

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George

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Sviatoslav Richter
« on: August 31, 2007, 05:21:11 PM »

I think it's wise to expand the concept of this thread to include a discussion of all of the performances/recordings of Richter. Therefore, I have changed the title and hope that others will post their ideas/questions/impressions of this incredible performer.


To start with, I have a few questions about "Richter in the 1950s" on Parnassus:

Anyone have any of the 5 volumes from this series?

How's the sound?

How do they compare to other recordings of these works by Richter?

 :)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 08:43:37 PM by George »

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2007, 07:22:14 PM »
George,

If you decide to pick up one of these Parnassus volumes be prepared for quite primitive sound. Not because anything is pirated but because the source material unfortunately has its limitations.

As far as comparisons it's been ages since I last heard a Parnassus issue so I really couldn't say. Although I don't recall being put off by anything performance-wise.

What I can say for certain is that they've generally gotten good press. But that's about the extent of my knowledge on Parnassus...


"I've grown used to this country and I love it. But there's one thing it doesn't have - quiet". Rachmaninoff musing on his hectic schedule in the USA.

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2007, 07:26:53 PM »
George,

If you decide to pick up one of these Parnassus volumes be prepared for quite primitive sound. Not because anything is pirated but because the source material unfortunately has its limitations.

As far as comparisons it's been ages since I last heard a Parnassus issue so I really couldn't say. Although I don't recall being put off by anything performance-wise.

Thanks Don.  :)

But you weren't wowed, performance-wise either, right?

I know I am not, from the amazon samples.

Quote
What I can say for certain is that they've generally gotten good press. But that's about the extent of my knowledge on Parnassus...

Yes, from what I have read, these are INTENSE readings, but suffer from poor sound that has little in the way of dynamic range. They cost full price ($30) for each 2CD set, so I hope to get some more info.

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2007, 07:28:28 PM »
The Fanfare Review:

Older readers may remember the shock of discovery when the first of Sviatoslav Richter's discs made their way to the West. Since his first US tour in 1960, of course, he has been a fixture in the American musical imagination (although not in our concert halls), and we have been able to sample a far wider selection of his art in vastly better sound than that afforded by those early LPs. Still, as Richard Taruskin reminded us in an eloquent appreciation (13:3, p. 244), the Richter of the 1950s and early 1960s was a substantially more febrile artist than the "courtly, white-mustnchioed elder statesman" he has become--snd it is therefore not just nostalgia that gives his early recordings their magnetic chraracter. BMG's ten-disc celebration, reviewed in detail by Leslie Gerber in 19:3, resurrected a significant number of scorching early studio recordings. The five discs under review, although they retrace much of the some repertoire, document live performances, sometimes a bit sloppier than the studio versions, but often fueled by an even more impetuos spirit and reaching an even higher emotional temperature.

This is especially evident in the stunning, four-disc salvo from Gerber's own Parnassus Records, which brings us five hours of new recordings, in surprisingly serviceable sound, that have apparently never been released before. The contents consist largely of early-Richter staples-but the high-contrast peformances are, without exception, knockouts. All of Richter's interpretations demonstrate a staggering diversity of touch (note how his hard-bitten account of Rachmaninov's op.32/7 melts away at the end) and an almost unerring rhythmic control, both of small gestures and of larger paragraphs--note, for instance, how the Chopin Etude, op. lO/I, explodes forth as a single utterance. But what marks Richter's early virtuoso efforts in particular is the way these qualities combine to grip you, rather than persuade you. There are other Richter performances that are more lighthearted (for instance, his four-hand Mozart with Britten; see 16:1); there are others, like his early 80s Tokyo Prokofiev (17;3), that offer more density of detail; and there -are certainly others (most notably his contoversial Schubert Bb, 6:4; see Michael Ullman's dissent in 14:4) that convey deeper philosophical insights. But his early performances have a demonic intensity that was often tempered in his later years; and these four discs offer ample opportunity to experience, undiluted, the aural adrenaline rush that Taruskin described.

Certainly, no one else manages to steer through the Schumann Toccata with such brio, largely because no one else, not even Horowitz, manages to shape the music's syncopations so that the textures never clot. In part because of a quicker tcmpo, but also in part because of a greater sense of abandon, this fierce account of the finale of the Prokofiev Seventh is even mord overwhelming than his famous studio version. And despite moments of apparent brusqueness (patience is not in high supply on these discs), this 1953 dash through Pictures is so impulsive as to make his classic Sofia account seem almost blasť.

I don't mean to suggest that these are relentlessly steely readings in the manner of Simon Barere. Richter has an astonishing capacity for elegance. too (try the sixth of the Prokofiev Visions) and his Rachmaninov, like the first movement of his Scriabin Second, can be extremely lush: try, for instance, the superb weighting of the cadences on op. 23/4. But when, for instance, he heightens the contrast of the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Sonata by sweetening up the second theme, he manages to do so without dissipating the sense of urgency--transforming, by sheer willpower, the music's redundancy into propulsion. There are claws beneath the velvet passages in this chipper Tchaikovsky Concerto as well; and although his Scriabin Sixth and his Schumann Humoresque both manifest a remarkable sympathy for the music's mercurial swings, there is an underlying edge to both works that is apt to keep you off balance. Given the extent to which the Parnassus repertoire duplicates that of recordings already in the catalog (more or less contemporaneous performances with a similar interpretive slant and superior sound), I will resist the temptation to promote these discs as the best introduction to Richter's art of the 1950s: but Richter aficionados should find them an invaluable supplement to their collections. Highly recommended.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2007, 07:52:29 PM »
Thanks Don.  :)

But you weren't wowed, performance-wise either, right?

That's true...

Speaking for myself I can't say as I heard anything in them that wowed me enough to warrant duplicating the repertoire. Which I surely would have done had I been smitten by something.

I already owned enough of the material in competing editions (though not the exact same performances, obviously) so I simply couldn't bring myself to plunk down good money just to get more Richter. Sadly, I do have to watch the bottom line. :P

For something extraordinary it might have been a different story, however... ;)


 
"I've grown used to this country and I love it. But there's one thing it doesn't have - quiet". Rachmaninoff musing on his hectic schedule in the USA.

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2007, 04:52:24 AM »
That's true...

Speaking for myself I can't say as I heard anything in them that wowed me enough to warrant duplicating the repertoire. Which I surely would have done had I been smitten by something.

I already owned enough of the material in competing editions (though not the exact same performances, obviously) so I simply couldn't bring myself to plunk down good money just to get more Richter. Sadly, I do have to watch the bottom line. :P

For something extraordinary it might have been a different story, however... ;)

Thanks for the clarification.  :)

sidoze

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2007, 06:45:16 AM »
I think some of these recordings are very special. I haven't herad the latest volume and I didn't bother with the all- (or nearly all) Liszt one, but the one with mixed Rach preludes (or etudes? I remember it contained my favourite 23/5) is awesome, as are the Scriabin 6 and Schumann Humoreske. Don't expect great sound but the playing which comes through is dazzling "early" Richter.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 06:47:18 AM by sidoze »

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 08:17:32 PM »
I think it's wise to expand the concept of this thread to include a discussion of all of the performances/recordings of Richter. Therefore, I have changed the title and hope that others will post their ideas/questions/impressions of this incredible performer. 

Just found this site that lists some essential Richter CDs. I agree with all of the ones that I have heard from the list.

In your opinion, which performances of his are essential?

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 09:16:29 PM »
I'm just getting interested in Richter myself, so this should be an informative thread. As for me, I think his Debussy and Ravel are especially incredible.
If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 09:46:56 PM »
Here's some interesting news:

Parnassus has made available as a CDR the much talked about "Richter in Leipzig" recital. Originally a Music & Arts release.

Quote
PCCD 20250 Beethoven: Sonatas #30-32; works of Brahms (3) & Chopin. RICHTER ("Richter in Leipzig", Nov. 28, 1963). Audible flutter in Sonata #30. From suppressed Music & Arts disc $15
 

It's listed fourth up from the bottom of the page...


"I've grown used to this country and I love it. But there's one thing it doesn't have - quiet". Rachmaninoff musing on his hectic schedule in the USA.

Offline Holden

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 11:36:09 PM »
..and is an incredible concert despite the poor sound in Op 109. Well worth picking when you consider that the original Cd from M&A is being offered for $999 on Ebay
Cheers

Holden

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2007, 04:44:50 AM »
Here's some interesting news:

Parnassus has made available as a CDR the much talked about "Richter in Leipzig" recital. Originally a Music & Arts release.

It's listed fourth up from the bottom of the page...




VERY good news, Don! Thanks for the info. I will call them on Tuesday about that one.  :)

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2007, 05:27:53 AM »
Just discovered this link to early Richter recordings, 1948-1951:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/ankhproductions/bobbeaudin/

Anyone have these? There are a few samples for each CD.

The company will soon release Vol 5.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 05:34:57 AM by George »

Offline Bogey

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2007, 05:57:24 AM »
Do you have this transfer and or recording my friend?

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George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2007, 06:00:26 AM »
Do you have this transfer and or recording my friend?



What's the date and the catalog number (on the spine)?

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2007, 06:17:32 AM »
Do you have this transfer and or recording my friend?



Actually I do have that one, only the earlier, OOP release on Philips.  8)

I believe that your transfer is incorrectly marked as 1988, when it was done in June 17, 1986 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. 

This is a live recording that we are talking about, right? 

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2007, 06:52:00 AM »
..and is an incredible concert despite the poor sound in Op 109. Well worth picking when you consider that the original Cd from M&A is being offered for $999 on Ebay
One of my former coworkers who grew up in Turkey said that when he was young Richter recordings were a dime a dozen in Turkey. In fact he says they seem to be the only classical recordings in Turkey along with some other Soviet-origin stuff. He couldn't understand how anyone would pay major $$$ for some of the mediocre stuff from RIchter that he has in possession. I told me he should get his Richter stuff appraised and maybe make a small fortune from them.

sidoze

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2007, 09:08:34 AM »
Just discovered this link to early Richter recordings, 1948-1951:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/ankhproductions/bobbeaudin/

Anyone have these? There are a few samples for each CD.

The company will soon release Vol 5.

I didn't bother with these because aside from the Schumann Fantaisie the repertoire, unlike in most of the Parnassus sets, is uninteresting for me. I did hear the Chopin volume online though -- I think from operashare. It was very good--naturally--but it didn't change my opinion of Richter's Chopin.

George

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2007, 12:11:24 PM »
Anyone have the 1986 Diabelli's on Philips by Richter? I believe it's the same performance that was released and mismarked 1988 on Moscow Studio archives.

I ask because I hear a strange high pitched noise (subtle, but it's there) form the 8th track onwards on my copy (the Phillips.)  :-[

Very strange for a supposed DDD recording.  >:(

Offline edward

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Re: Sviatoslav Richter
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2007, 12:14:25 PM »
Anyone have the 1986 Diabelli's on Philips by Richter? I believe it's the same performance that was released and mismarked 1988 on Moscow Studio archives.

I ask because I hear a strange high pitched noise (subtle, but it's there) form the 8th track onwards on my copy (the Phillips.)  :-[

Very strange for a supposed DDD recording.  >:(
Maybe you can ask Tom Deacon on rmcr? ;)
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