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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm & Glowing Performances!, 11 Jan 2010
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy (Audio CD)
Richter plays Dvorak Piano Concerto with warm affection and admirable technical polish. The way he captures the rapt serenity of the slow movement is simply magical. The outer movements glow with poetic beauty and rich tonal colours.

Wanderer-Fantasy, played with penetrating tone and uncompromising technical refinement, receives Lisztian rendition; not a hint of sentimentalism, but radiant with transcendental beauty.

Relatively good stereo recordings, beautifully remastered.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable, 1 Sep 2011
This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy (Audio CD)
Nobody, apart from perhaps Rudolf Firkusny, has made such a convincing case for the Dvorak Piano Concerto as Richter has. But Firkusny never had the benefit of working with Carlos Kleiber, who illuminates the orchestral part with so many felicitous details while at the same time sounding fresh and spontaneous. Richter's playing carries the authority one would expect from such a marvellous pianist. The Dvorak is a deceptively difficult piece - it doesn't sound particularly 'virtuosic' but is at the same time extremely difficult to play. Richter makes light of the technical difficulties in a mercurial performance that doesn't lack poise either. It's clear he loves the work.

Interestingly, Richter himself thought this recording wasn't altogether successful, saying that both he and Kleiber were tense at the time. If that was the case, I certainly don't think it shows - this, more than any other recording, makes the Dvorak sound like an A-list piece.

The Schubert Wanderer Fantasy is also a classic - only Richter has managed to capture the full terror of the outburst in the Adagio, for example. This recording is more polished and controlled than his wild (but more exciting) live recording on BBC Legends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Richter but inappropriate orchestral style, 18 May 2013
This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy (Audio CD)
Richter was very fond of the Dvorak concerto and always played the original version. On his first visit to Britain in 1961 it was the first concerto he played, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kiril Kondrashin in the Albert Hall. On that visit Philips recorded studio performances of the Liszt Concertos which the same artists also played in concert, but unfortunately not the Dvorak. So far as I know, this recording made in Munich for the work's centenary in the 1970s is the only time Richter made a studio recording of it, so it is disappointing that a more appropriate orchestra and conductor were not employed. The Czech conductor Karel Ancerl once said that the first thing he had to do when conducting Dvorak with a German orchestra was to persuade them how NOT to play it, and this is what doesn't seem to have happened here. Richter plays the solo part beautifully, but as soon as the orchestra enters the style becomes inflated and pompous, quite the wrong thing for Dvorak's music in general and this concerto in particular. Kleiber is certainly efficient enough, and the orchestra seems to be a good one, but even Richter himself seems a bit inhibited by the circumstances, and the recording is a little below standard for the period - not as clear as the Liszt made fifteen or so years earlier, for example. Apparently Richter himself was very dissatisfied by the atmosphere during the recording and by the result, and this is not surprising.

Recordings of live performances by Richter in the Dvorak Concerto do exist - the LSO / Kondrashin one mentioned above (download now available at http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005QJ1R7U/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp?ie=UTF8&qid=1390567951&sr=8-2), one made in Prague with Vaclav Smetacek and also one with Yevgeni Svetlanov. Any of these show Richter much more successfully in this concerto, though none is too well recorded - the Prague version is the easiest to find, on the French Praga label. Two recordings by other pianists were also made for the centenary - Bruno Rigutto with the French National Radio Orchestra and Zdenek Macal, Radoslav Kvapil with Brno Orchestra and Frantisek Jilek - both good performances. More recently, the Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi has recorded an excellent performance with the BBC Symphony orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, and this is also a very enjoyable performance, though at times very relaxed in the quieter passages. Any of these three performances present the work in its true scale and colours.

The Schubert Wanderer is given a superb performance, unlike any other I've heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richter's Wanderer, 2 Jan 2012
By 
enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy (Audio CD)
Richter's Schubert was always very special - slow, deep and incredibly compelling - and this account of the Wanderer is as fine example of his studio art as you could wish for. His ability to encompass all in a piece that changes mood often while projecting a very strong sense of the whole leaves one in no doubt that this is one of the greatest pieces in the piano repertoire. The Dvorak concerto with Kleiber is also good but, personally, I have always agreed with Richter's view (noted by Elpenor) that the performance is marred by a failure of the exponents to relax together. Dvorak always repays a willingness to relax. So this is a fine performance of a lovely work but it falls short of presenting the work in its best light. I doubt you could come to love the Concerto from this performance. We have two great accounts of the Dvorak Concerto on record: Firkusny's account is very authentic and sympathetic and the recording made by Aimard and Harnoncourt is so good that it convinces you that the work is the equal of the great Schumann Concerto! Richter's account is not in the same class as the Aimard and the Firkusny also is preferable to it. You might consider getting Richter's Wanderer in its alternative coupling - a wonderful account of the Trout Quintet with the Borodin Quartet.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Disc, 12 Feb 2012
By 
Ali Tigrel (Ankara, Turkey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy (Audio CD)
In all fairness, this is a wonderful disc. One of the greatest pianists of the 20th century playing Dvorak's beautiful concerto under the baton of arguably the greatest conductor of the last century is an event in itself. The outcome is simply spell-binding. The recording quality is surprisingly good. Richter's reading of Schubert's gorgeous music is beyond reproach. This I believe, is a must-buy.
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Dvorįk: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy
Dvorák: Piano Concerto / Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy by Sviatoslav Richter (Audio CD - 1998)
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