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Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 3, Bagatelles op. 126 Nos. 1, 4 & 6, Piano Sonata No. 29 'Hammerklavier'

Sviatoslav Richter , Ludwing van Beethoven Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Product Description

The Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter (1915 1997) was one of the greatest interpreters of the 20th century, along with his compatriots Emil Gilels, David Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich. As Richard Osborne says of Richter's playing in his booklet note, "Bravura technique matched to high intelligence and a richly developed musical imagination is a rare combination of qualities in any instrumentalist."

Richter made his debut in the West in 1960 with Beethoven's Piano Sonata op.2 no.3 at a recital in New York. Beethoven's Hammerklavier' Sonata was one of the main features of Richter's programming in the summer of 1975 in Prague, London and Aldeburgh, the latter performed one week prior to London and recorded on BBC Legends.

Richter's live recitals catch him at his very best compared to the confines of the studio. The 1975 recital in London was considered a landmark, one of the greatest that Richter gave in this country. Richard Osborne has written in the booklet notes, "As Richter's performance vividly attests, the Hammerklavier' is from first note to last a work of extraordinary lucidity and clear-sightedness." The Beethoven Piano Sonata No.3 op.2 no.3 and the three Bagatelles op.126, which formed the other works played in all the 1975 concerts, attest to Richter's great understanding of Beethoven.

This is the first time that this London recital has been issued commercially on CD in an authorised version and it is remastered here in excellent stereo. ICA's Richter discography includes ICAC 5004 where Richter plays Haydn, Weber, Schumann, Chopin and Debussy at the Royal Festival Hall in 1967. "Richter is at the height of his powers." (Richard Osborne)


This 1975 Royal Festival Hall recital by Sviatoslav Richter is rightly regarded as a landmark of 20th-century piano interpretation. Right from the start of the "Piano Sonata No 3 in C major", there's a great declamatory authority about his delivery of the opening Allegro con brio, modulating into delicate fragility for crucial phrases, and a bravura moment, towards the end of the movement, where the momentum suddenly relaxes into a more miasmic mood, as if mired in fog. Richter skilfully negotiates the four movements to an uplifting finale, before tackling the "Piano Sonata No 29 in B flat major" like a mountaineer scaling an imposing range of peaks. Particularly impressive is the long third movement Adagio, like rain falling softly on the soul. --Independent, Nov'12

This is an outstanding disc.It contains some of the greatest piano playing I have ever heard, and the most profound interpretation of what is, for me, Beethoven's greatest piano work, the Hammklavier Sonata. Performance ***** Recording *** --BBC Music Magazine, Feb'13

Product Description

Beethoven : Sonates pour piano n°3 & n°29 - Bagatelles, op.126 n°1, 4 & 6 / Sviatoslav Richter, piano
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