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Sviatoslav Richter - In Memoriam
 
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Sviatoslav Richter - In Memoriam

16 Feb 1998 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1997 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:26:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N5IUV2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 432,061 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Sheldon on 12 Mar 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Deutsche Grammophon compilation is an excellent celebration of the talents of the great pianist Sviatoslav Richter. In keeping with his own approach, the choice of music demonstrates that there is much more to piano virtuosity than the ability to play fast and loud. He could do this, of course, but here we also experience his phenomenal control over the `colour' of each note (the Bach D minor prelude) his poise (the Debussy Estampes) and his intellectual grasp of structure (the Chopin F minor Ballade which also superbly demonstrates his ability to make the piano roar, whisper or sing).
The discs are compiled from various recording sessions 1959 to 1965, so there are some variations in the recorded sound but this is mostly a pleasant, moderately liquid hall acoustic, a bit drier in the Bach. Some of the recordings are of `live' performances so there is some audience noise; but as live concerts were this pianist's preferred medium, it is in keeping with the spirit of the discs to accept it.
After a generous helping of Rachmaninoff's Preludes, the collection ends with a brief journey into Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives; my only real grouse with this release is that there is not more of the Prokofiev.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D Giokas on 5 Oct 2003
Format: Audio CD
A fascinating recording to satisfy all tastes (from Bach, to Chopin, to Prokofiev). The perfect introduction to the talent of Sviatoslav Richter for those not already familiar with his magic work. I have never heard a better, more powerful interpretation of Chopin's Ballade No. 3 or Rachmaninov's Preludes.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Peter A. Green on 27 Mar 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No one can be in any doubt that as far as pianistic technique is concerned, few if any pianists of the 20th Century could match Richter.
However, his interpretations often give the impression of being designed to provide maximum impact in the concert hall (many of his recordings are live), whilst not providing the necessary intellectual rigour to satisfy repeated listenings on the recorded medium.
In the recordings under review the above observation can, in my view, be illustrated by the Well-Tempered Clavier excerpts which I found so musically unsatisfying that it had me running for my Angela Hewitt recording of these works in order to calm my senses. The same can be said of the rendition of the Chopin Etude in C Major Opus 10 No. 1 which seems to me, in Richter's hands, to be an exercise in breaking the piano with the left hand!
However, there is much to wonder at in these recordings. Most notably, in my view, the wonderful interpretations of the 3rd and 4th Chopin Ballades and the selection of Rachmaninov Preludes. As one can expect from a pianist who seemed to prefer recording in front of an audience, the sound quality is often impaired. This is most noticeable in the Bach works where the audience seems to be coughing as if their lives depended on it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
More Richter indispensabalia! 3 Sep 2007
By Discophage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When Emil Gilels toured the U.S. in 1955 his response to critics who raved about his performances is said to have been: "Wait until you hear Richter!" Now that's gallantry. Only in May 1960 was Richter allowed to tour outside of the Soviet block, and it was not farther than Finland. Five month later a big US tour was arranged, whose culmination was a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall (one of them is documented on Richter Rediscovered). In July of the next year it was London, in October Paris, in May 1962 came Florence in Italy followed by Vienna in June and again in September for two programs of concertos, then back to Italy in October and November, and Paris in December (all these informations and more used in this review come from the wonderful Richter website maintained by Paul Geffen).

In those years Richter was arguably at the apex of his pianistic and musical powers (one at the service of the other) and some of those concerts were recorded and released, in equal share between DG and EMI (Beethoven's 17th Sonata, Schubert's 13th and Wanderer Fantasie, Schumann's Papillons, Fantasie, Faschingsschwank aus Wien and 2nd Sonata went to EMI, and have been collected with other recordings on Sviatoslav Richter in Portrait). The DG material was originally scattered on three LPs, published around 1962-63 and representing Richter's near complete solo output owned by the German firm (there are also a number of concertos, and Rachmaninoff's 2nd had a choice of 6 Preludes as a filler, recorded in studio in Varsaw in 1959).

DG reissued part of the material from these LPs on CD as Sviatoslav Richter Plays Scriabin, Debussy & Prokofiev, an indispensable acquisition for the Richterite, as it has Scriabin's 5th Sonata and Prokofiev's 8th (see my review for more discographic information); the present CD is the equally indispensable complement to this earlier release. Though there are a few duplications between them (the Debussy pieces and the three short Prokofiev Vision Fugitives), they give the complete solo Richter on DG, including the studio Rachmaninoff Preludes from 1959. DG has issued another, double CD (447355), which collated all this material but not the two Chopin Ballades and is difficult to find anyway (and not listed on the present website).

The previous reviewers' ranting at the coughs and other sonic deficiencies needs to be seriously qualified. As mentioned, the Rachmaninoff Preludes are studio recordings, and only the last one is a noisy concert take, from Venice, 17 Nov 1962. Audiences in Florence, 23 Oct 62 (Bach, Schubert) were coughingly sonorous but those of Wembley, July 28 - August 1 1961, were utterly silent (Haydn 32nd Sonata Hob XVI:44, Chopin Ballade 3, Debussy Preludes). It would be tedious to go into the details of Geffen's attempt at a precise locating and dating of the various pieces attributed by DG's documentation to an anonymous "Italian Tour 11/62". Chopin's Ballades are OK, only the Polonaise-Fantaisie has audience presence and some coughs. The Etude op. 10/12 has some audience noise but not op. 10/1 (yet Geffen attributes both to the same concert), although one can hear a slight but constant click which could be the pianist's fingernails hitting the keyboard (and some of his breathing too). The Schumann and Prokofiev pieces have their good share of coughs and audience noise. Obviously the first two Debussy Estampes (silent) do not come from the same concert as the third (noisy), and indeed Geffen gives for them the indication of "Rome, 31 Oct, and Palermo, 9 Nov 1962". There is tape hiss in all the Debussy pieces, though.

But whatever the surrounding blimps (and again they do not concern all the recital), they are nothing in the face of such interpretive mastery. Richter's Bach is mostly reflexive and dreamy, with a soft touch, poles apart from Gould's more baroque percussiveness. Likewise his Chopin Ballades and Polonaise are, I find, overall pensive and dreamy rather than heroic. On the other hand the two Etudes are fittingly heroic and display a fine sense of color and dynamic shading, and the same can be said of his Rachmaninoff. His Haydn is a gem (there is a much later version, recorded in Mantua in 1987, on Decca), but my favorite is possibly his Debussy. I find Richter's sense of atmosphere and subtlety of touch ideally suited to the French composer.

So, again, as the complementary DG CD, no Richterite can afford to be without this.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
*cough* Focus on the music 12 May 2006
By clavis76 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Richter's live perfomances interest me far more than his studio recordings (and thankfully, outnumber them)!

What pianist today would dare attempt some of the feats Richter considers "essential" to every live performance. A pianist myself, I have been enamored with Richter since first hearing a recording of his. I remember literally standing in front of the CD player knowing that this man was one of the best. I stood there for about an hour, just listening...I couldn't move!
I now own nearly all of his recordings, and consider them my finest discs.

I have seen many top pianists live...Phillippe Entremont, Jean-Yves Thib., Andre Watts, Leon Fleischer, Murray Perahia...to name a few. Undoubtedly, they are all 'good pianists'.

Richter is an exceptional pianist. He, along with Michelangeli, Cziffra, and a select few others, captivate me.

4th Chopin Ballade is evidence enough...every other interpretation I've heard is...well...subdued, not melodic enough, and the coda always to slow!! Not so with Richter. And Richter's Bach? Amazing. Correct tempo, beautiful voicing; he manages to blend the all too ignored melodic/ romantic side of Bach with the maestro's perfect compositional structure. If you really want a treat...even if you're not a huge "Bach" listener, I highly, highly recommend the CD "Out of Later Year, Vol. 6" w/ Sviatoslav Richter. The French Overture is downright remarkable (the composition and performance equal each other)!

Yes, this recording has coughing on it; yes, people clear their throat; and yes, the recording quality is sub-par by todays dolby xx.xx standards.

In all honesty, I never noticed one cough, cleared throat, or bit of "hiss" until someone pointed it out to me.
Let Richter play for you; trust me, you'll stop hearing the coughs if you listen to the music.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
My favorite mixed recital album! Fantastico! 13 May 2008
By Mark Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Of all the mixed recital piano cds that I have this is by far the best. Everything is first rate. Yes, as with my other reviews I have a crazy reviewing system based on a scale of from 1-11 for both sound and performance. Remember that for me Sound consists of three factors: what most people usually thing of when mentioning sound: purity of tone, richness or is it slightly hazy, etc.; soundstage: Can you picture the recording environment in both width and depth and exactly how wide is the soundstage; and finally, imaging: how precisely can you picture where the instrumentalists or vocalists are in relation to each other. Can you sort of reach out and touch someone? I know this is an analog program and that many of the works come from live performances. I know that minor coughing and sniffling during the performances may bother some people, but for me that just adds to the excitement of a live. It's a sort of, "you are there" type of thing. In a few spots you might be able to here a bit of analog tape hiss, but to be honest you have to strain to hear it. So I give sound, overall, an "11" or a "5" on Amazon's 1-5 scale.

Now to performances: Believe me, you've never heard Bach performed the way Richter does the preludes and fugues. They certainly don't sound baroque at all. In fact they sound downright dreamy. The Haydn is a pure delight, as is the Chopin. In fact, there is a certain "rightness" to everything about this double cd set. The Debussy is ethereal, the Rachmaninov exudes Russian ethos. So, once again I'm giving an "11" for performance correlating to a "5" for performance. So, a perfect "5" for this set. And, at a price of $17.98 for playing such as this you're getting a real bargain, especially when you consider that you're getting 2 cds perfectly filled with glorious music.

Don't think I'm the fool. Just because I love this album doesn't mean I love everything of Richter's. Example: I hate "The Sofia Recital". And, I see nothing special in his "Pictures at an Exhibition". In fact, "Pictures" sound too rushed for my taste. I have 3 other recordings of the Mussorgsky and far prefer Ogawa's casual stroll through the art exhibit to Richter's rushing forward towards the end. Of course, the sound that Bis gives Ogawa is superior plus it's an all Mussorgsky disc of pieces that will sound familiar, but which are rarely heard in their original piano versions. Unfortunately, the Ogawa cd is nla and by the end of May will be replaces with a new version by Freddy Kempf which I look forward to. (Just a note: Bis' sound, in general, is superior in almost all of their recordings).

So, if you want a great piano recital album then get this set. It's fantastic!!!

Happy listening,

Mark Zimmerman, Bipolar Bear
NEUHAUS TECHNIQUE IN OFFBEAT REPERTOIRE 19 July 2014
By Cody Robert at Spokane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Richter (1915-97) was not quite, as DG now trumpet, "pianist of the century," but he was the most stellar pupil of Heinrich Neuhaus (1888-1964) and his influential Moscow Conservatory technique. This memorial collection has some of the best sound engineering and production values Richter ever received, is an excellent showcase for his phonogenic technique and offers some surprising repertoire not previously associated with the pianist (or with the Neuhaus methodology).

The Odessan is always eminently listenable, even in Disc 1 with perfunctory Bach and some unconvincing Chopin--bravura technique recorded live in Italy but clearly lacking the bonhomie and geniality of a Rubinstein Chopin recital. Geniality is, however, abundant in Richter's London studio recording of the Haydn G Minor Sonata.

Disc 2 corrals all the really good stuff. Starting with Track 3, we have substantive Schubert (Richter always found Beethovenian gravitas in minor Schubert), a playful romp through the Schumann ABEGG Variations, a definitive Debussy ESTAMPES and excerpted PRELUDES, no fewer than seven Rachmaninoff PRELUDES (here Neuhaus' precepts really pay off) and selected Prokofiev VISIONS FUGITIVES. This set would be desirable if only for the Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Rachmaninoff, but the stunning Debussy group is the real highlight, with shimmering colors less vague than Gieseking's and wonderfully spiky rhythms (Richter rightly interprets Debussy as a Modernist). Let's just say Comrade Richter was one of the greater pianists of his century--and do not miss his Desert Island Disc, the 1958 Sofia recital (Philips).
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Piano King with his throat-clearing Population 25 Jan 2003
By "bkldavid" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Richter's mastery of tonal landscaping and musical insights are highly visible in this album. Bach's Preludes and Fugues are the best sounding Bach I've ever heard. Everything is going great until of course the audience began to clear their throats, not just for a second, a minute or two. The disturbing devilish coughing lied in the background for the entire recording as if someone was planted to sabotage the whole recording. This is no fun!
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