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  Наименование CD :
   Richter The Master, Vol. 7. Brahms & Schumann



Год издания : 2007

Компания звукозаписи : Decca

Время звучания : 2:11:42

К-во CD : 2

Код CD : 475 8628

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Guru)      

Vol.1, Vol.2, Vol.3, Vol.4, Vol.5, Vol.6, Vol.7, Vol.8, Vol.9, Vol.10

========= from the cover ==========

TRULY UNIVERSAL

The Richter Phenomenon

In October 1960 New York's Carnegie Hall witnessed a sensation: Sviatoslav Richter, the legendary Soviet pianist, made his debut in the West with a Beethoven programme, ending with the Sonata in F minor, op.57 "Appassionata".This memorable event has been preserved on record, and the tension still strikes the listener today. It is reflected in the breathtaking tempo at which the pianist opens the finale of the "Appassionata", making it impossible to speed up - as indicated - for the coda. An international career had begun. The New York press was head over heels with admiration.

Richter was already forty-five years old. His reputation in the Soviet Union had long been established, but those responsible for culture under Communist rule had refused for years to allow him to appear in the West; however, they cleverly contrived to foster his fame beyond the Iron Curtain. Among those who helped, albeit unconsciously, to heighten anticipation in the West was no less a figure than Emil Gilels, who, admired in Europe and America, claimed that in his native land there was someone who played even better than he: Sviatoslav Richter. An enormous burden of expectation rested upon Richter when he was finally sent to the West and began his tour in New York, as recordings show. The fact that his mother, with whom he had been permitted no contact for almost two decades, sat in the audience can scarcely have lessened this pressure. No other artist has begun his international career under such abnormal conditions.

One would think that a twenty-year-old could more easily have handled such a situation than someone approaching fifty. This made the steady, indeed tranquil, artistic development of this performer, far removed from all eccentricity and sensationalism, all the more admirable. It was the outlet of an exceptionally disciplined personality with a very high sense of responsibility where his art was concerned. In his personal life this discipline reached the point of capriciousness, so that he did not address his wife in the familiar form, nor she him. His ways were those of a refined gentleman of the nineteenth century, who shunned the rumpus of stardom, who knew who he was, who refused on principle to make corrections in his recordings by means of retakes or edits and preferred, if needs must, to preserve occasional small lapses, rare though those were thanks to his technical perfection. Bach is supposed to have said once that anyone as industrious as he was could achieve just as much; Richter believed this also. One need only play exactly what is written in the score, as he did, and all problems of interpretation are resolved. If it were that simple, Sviatoslav Richter would not have been the exceptional phenomenon that he was.

Richter's repertoire was truly universal: it ranged from Bach, whose Well-Tempered Clavier he performed in the course of four evenings, to the classics of modern music, culminating in Prokofiev, with whom he enjoyed close personal connections. Above all, the piano sonatas, the later ones in particular, found in him a congenial interpreter. One of his most remarkable recordings is of Prokofiev's Fifth Piano Concerto, made with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra under Witold Rowicki in 1959, at a time when the work was banned in the Soviet Union and the West was still closed to Richter. His Prokofiev playing opened up new paths, sensitive enough to transcend the martellato vitality that is often given sole emphasis and bring out the graded nuances and noble lyricism. With a group of Russian fellow musicians, headed by the violinist Oleg Kagan, he recorded Alban Berg's unyielding Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and wind, even though for a pianist the work can by no means be called gratifying. But it is great music, and for Richter that alone was what counted.

In the 1970s Richter had the reputation of being wrapped up in his own sensitivity - on occasions he was even considered eccentric by some German critics - but he was also capable of thrilling feats of virtuosity, as in his interpretation of the Schumann Concerto, which thrusts forward in a single grand motion, lyricism blending into the symphonic flow of the piece. Dvorak's rarely heard Concerto in G minor also found in him an interpreter capable of combining temperament and relaxed musical enjoyment. It goes without saying that he chose Dvorak's original version of the piano part instead of the more frequently heard virtuosic version, written by another hand.

The works of Beethoven, particularly the early sonatas, played a large role in Richter's repertoire. In pieces such as the three sonatas from Op.2 he avoided retrospective reference to the style of their dedicatee, Haydn, emphasising instead the provocatively assertive energy that Haydn found so shocking in this music. When Richter toured West Germany in 1976 with Oleg Kagan, he left one in no doubt that Beethoven's early violin sonatas remain in the tradition of Mozart: the piano takes substantial priority, its part being "more modern".The fact that in the music of the Viennese Classical school Richter observed on principle all the repeat marks written in the score, even the repeats of development and recapitulation sections that are never usually observed, was associated with his precept of playing "what is written in the score". Curiously, it took him longer to make convincing headway with Beethoven's later piano sonatas. His shyness before these complex structures, with their interpenetration of comprehensive formal subjectivity and structural discipline, may have had something to do with the wholly unjustified accusations of eccentricity already mentioned.

Like only a few of his colleagues, of whom Brendel is one, Richter took on, and continued to take on, the frequently underrated sonatas of Haydn. His playing illuminated the musical structures, being serious and meditative rather than outwardly brilliant; it demonstrated that these works should in no way be considered mere "forerunners" of Beethoven, avoiding any trace of pedantry and, by observing all the repeats, giving the pieces a certain monumental breadth. In his interpretation of a work such as the Sonata in A flat major, Hob.XVI:46, one perceives a foretaste of Romanticism. While this music can legitimately convey something of this sort, Richter avoided any romanticisation whatsoever in Mozart's sonatas, as in a piece such as the Sonata in A minor, K310. In Mozart, Richter put into practice his principle of playing "what is written in the score" so consistently that he has sometimes been accused of a lack of individuality in his perception of Mozart. In his late Mozart recordings a certain detachment, a sense of rising above things, may have contributed subliminally to this impression.

When it came to Schubert, Richter gave us truly great piano playing. The sonatas represent the domain where Richter was most at home, with their breadth of development, particularly in the late works, and their wide-ranging and revolutionary nature. In his hands, a work such as the Sonata in B flat major, D960 (the last of the trilogy of 1828), seemed by no means merely a resigned epilogue, as one so often hears it. Instead, broad architectural lines were traced with a maximum of tonal and agogic artistry. The greatness of Richter's artistic personality revealed itself perhaps nowhere else with such immediacy as in these Schubert interpretations, as tranquil as they were inwardly tense. The creative power of this Schubert playing also lent to the smaller forms, the Impromptus and the Moments musicaux, an inner magnitude that transcended their genre, without violating the works' poetry or pianistic magic.

How far Richter, even in his seventies, was removed from what is generally understood by "old age" was shown by his full-blooded approach to Schumann. His performance of the taxing Toccata, op.7, was no less commanding and powerful in his 1989 recording than in his Melodiya recording of three decades before. Grandiose brilliance and a creative fantasy that always remained true "to the score" but also - and this was the secret of his interpretation - looked behind the score, often lent his Schumann a frenzied vitality, indeed ecstasy, which, however, never seemed uncontrolled. Here Richter revealed himself as the great virtuoso we all knew him to be, who dared to stake his all on one card, as he did long ago in his Carnegie Hall debut, who transformed Schumann's exuberance into a pianistic feast. The listener undergoes a similar experience when Richter plays Chopin's Scherzos, taking literally the con fuoco markings of the first and the third. The degree of breathtaking shading of which he was capable is shown in exemplary fashion in his recorded interpretation of the meno mosso section of the Scherzo in C sharp minor, op.39: the alternation of the D flat chorale with the rippling descent of the leggierissimo passages is unquestionably a pianistic revelation.

In view of the tremendous profusion and range of Sviatoslav Richter's repertoire, which reached beyond Webern, Bartok, Szymanowski, Hindemith, Stravinsky and Shostakovich to music avoided by most of his most notable colleagues, it is only possible here to throw out a few hints and rather sketchy sidelights. But even these reveal a performer who for decades was ranked among the truly great instrumentalists of the twentieth century.

- Alfred Beaujean (translation Mary Adams)


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   1 01 1. Allegro         0:12:22 Johannes Brahms - Piano Sonata No. 1 In C Major, Op. 1
   1 02 2. Andante         0:06:33 -"-
   1 03 3. Scherzo. Allegro Molto e Con Fuoco         0:06:55 -"-
   1 04 4. Finale. Allegro Con Fuoco         0:07:37 -"-
   1 05 1. Allegro Non Troppo, Ma Energico         0:06:19 Johannes Brahms - Sonata No.2 In F Sharp Minor Op.2
   1 06 2. Andante Con Espressione         0:05:12 -"-
   1 07 3. Scherzo. Allegro         0:03:58 -"-
   1 08 4. Finale (Introduzione. Sostenuto - Allegro Non Troppo e Rubato)         0:12:02 -"-
   2 01 1. Book 1         0:13:25 Johannes Brahms - Variations On A Theme By Paganini, Op.35
   2 02 2. Book 2         0:10:37 -"-
   2 03 Ballade In G Minor         0:03:17 Johannes Brahms - Ballade For Piano In G Minor, Op. 118 - No.3
   2 04 Rhapsodie In E Flat         0:03:53 Johannes Brahms - Rhapsody For Piano In E Flat Major, Op.119 - No.4
   2 05 Intermezzo In E Minor         0:03:34 Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo For Piano In E Minor, Op.116 - No.5
   2 06 Capriccio In C         0:02:54 Johannes Brahms - Capriccio For Piano In C Major, Op.76; No.8
   2 07 1. Durchaus Phantastisch Und Leidenschaftlich Vorzutragen         0:14:28 Robert Schumann - Fantasie (Obolen Auf Beethovens Monument) For Piano In C Major, Op. 17
   2 08 2. Maessig. Durchaus Energisch         0:07:21 -"-
   2 09 3. Langsam Getragen. Durchweg Leise Zu Halten         0:11:16 -"-

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