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  • Schubert: Piano Sonatas 13 & 14
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Schubert: Piano Sonatas 13 & 14


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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 July 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Regis Records
  • ASIN: B00005B7O9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,896 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 9 Aug. 2012
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Previous reviewers have more than adequately covered the strengths of these performances so I won't belabour the point. Recorded in February 1979 while Richter was on tour in Japan, this disc offers unusually good sound: a little hard and close but devoid of the clangourousness which afflicts so many of his recordings and a great relief in comparison with the dim, distorted mono recordings from the Soviet era. There is an irritating cougher in the first movement of D.664 but otherwise we are able to hear clearly the pianist's glorious touch, singing tone and impeccable line.

Richter became more restrained and "classical" in his approach as he aged but there is still plenty of fire in the second, darker sonata and the earlier "Nature" sonata, written while Schubert was holidaying in the mountains of Upper Austria in 1819. Very few shadows fall across this work and Richter's playing is all serenity until his characteristic heroic strength comes to the fore in the finale. Richter's great gift was his ability to encompass extremes of emotion without sacrificing the artistic integrity of the piece he was playing - and as always, his runs, roulades and arpeggios are peerlessly fluid.

Schubert and Richter: made for each other.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jan. 2006
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This CD contains the sonatas D664 and 784, plus Impromptus 2 and 4 from D899.
These live performances from 1979 are widely considered the best available. Good sound with a silent audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By richard on 16 Dec. 2009
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luminous recording and masterful playing. the background noises from the audience barely intrude but perhaps add to the sense of aurally witnessing an historical moment in time
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Nov. 2008
In Russia Richter was a pioneer to play Schubert's Piano Sonatas, and his style hasn't changed throughout his life. This later live performances are not easy listening Schubert like Uchida's, but hard and gritty yet filled with wonderfully delicate momments and transcendental quality. Richter's finest Schubert performances are also found in the Philips Authorised Recordings (Richter - The Authorised Recordings - Schubert/Richter plays Schubert).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Live Schubert from 1979, when Richter had no peer 16 Aug. 2009
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
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At the pinnacle of Schubert playing I would place Schnabel and Richter, so I'm surprised that these two readings are new to me. Richter made several recordings of both sonatas. This pairing appeared on Melodiya (my CD has a different cover than that pictured by Amazon), deriving from live concer recordings from a Feb. 1979 appearance in Tokyo (Feb 1 for D. 664, feb. 7 for d. 784). A now-deleted Olympia CD contains the same pairing. To finish with the basics, the sound is quite good but very close, so a certain hardness in the piano, and also in Richter's touch during loud passages, is present. As Richter collectors know, it's worth seeking uot the live recordings that feature either good sound or a good piano.

Richter performed a great deal of schubert and must have felt that he had found the key to his piano sonatas. That key is concentrated in the first movements, which for Richter are broad, reflective, and often melancholy. His view of the Scherzos is usually Beethovenesque -- early to middle Beethoven, that is, with plenty of thunder. (Neither of these sonatas has a Scherzo.) The finales are approached as the sunniest movements, a release from inwardness and struggle in the previous movements. In the finales richter's touch is almost the same as what he uses in Mozart. I know I am tossing generalities around, but the profile of richter's Schubert seems to follow the pattern I've described.

If your standard for the A major Sonata D. 664 is Kempff's graceful, light-textured eading, you'll find that Richter alternates between serene quietness and an almost threatening attack in the finale. It's not in his nature to let Schubert be naive and cheerful. The A minor Sonata D. 784 is more dramatic, and many pianists have brought out its heroism and strength. Richter is particularly forceful, but what really sets him apart is the rightness of his phrasing, which can make time stand still when Schubert is most meditative. the great opening movement of this sonata is a perfect example and could serve as a touchstone for Richter's entire approach -- his sudden flashes of fierce volatility could have come from no one else. The Andante is hesitant and troubled, taken as a continuation of the mood established in the first movement. The finale is played for light and shade, the first theme being propulsive and stormy, the second flowing and relaxed.

In short, a splendid example of how Richter, unique among his peers, could find depth and drama beneath the simplicity of Schubert's surface. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vintage Richter 9 Aug. 2012
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Previous reviewers have more than adequately covered the strengths of these performances so I won't belabour the point. Recorded in February 1979 while Richter was on tour in Japan, this disc offers unusually good sound: a little hard and close but devoid of the clangourousness which afflicts so many of his recordings and a great relief in comparison with the dim, distorted mono recordings from the Soviet era. There is an irritating cougher in the first movement of D.664 but otherwise we are able to hear clearly the pianist's glorious touch, singing tone and impeccable line.

Richter became more restrained and "classical" in his approach as he aged but there is still plenty of fire in the second, darker sonata and the earlier "Nature" sonata, written while Schubert was holidaying in the mountains of Upper Austria in 1819. Very few shadows fall across this work and Richter's playing is all serenity until his characteristic heroic strength comes to the fore in the finale. Richter's great gift was his ability to encompass extremes of emotion without sacrificing the artistic integrity of the piece he was playing - and as always, his runs, roulades and arpeggios are peerlessly fluid.

Schubert and Richter: made for each other.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
richter + schubert on a reputable label 13 May 2011
By bob e. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
i was sent the wrong item and have yet to acquire richter's d.664/784 schubert on alto (musical concepts) label. i am sure it will be top notch, but i write this only to clear it from the 8 or so 'yet to be reviewed items' shown on the webpage. i'll write up a real review when i get this release. alto schubert sonatas 19, 21 richter cd was excellent.
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