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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de force-What legendary power and energy!, 30 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
Richter is unquestionably in his element in these transcendental warhorses. The octave passage in particular in the first concerto literally makes the hairs stand up at the back of ones neck! His sheer power is at times quite staggering and is complemented well by the fine sound quality. If you liked this, I recommend his recording of Schuberts Wanderer Fantasy.
This recording is breathtaking, Richter plays like one possessed and shows real spirit and personality in this repertoire-you will not be dissapointed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Liszt played like this!?, 26 Mar 2009
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
Richter's performance of Liszt has always the demonic edge and the transcendental quality that make listeners to wonder if Liszt himself might have played like this. These incandescent performances of Concerti are no exception. I've always loved this performance of the 1st concerto alongside earlier Urania recording by the master which has more urgency and fire. In the 2nd concerto, you will be amazed by the exquisite delicacy of Richter's playing. How many pianists today can make piano sound like this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable improvement to legendary performances of the concertos especially, 19 Aug 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
This 1961 recording of the two concertos makes yet another appearance with yet another coupling option and re-mastered.

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Optional technical note:
As the disc is marketed with the technical levels clearly promoted, the following description may be of some help:
The mastering at 24 bits (dynamic range) and 96 kHz (frequency range) may need some explanation to be more fully understood. Every time one bit is added, the stored information doubles. Early digital recordings were made on digital recorders with only 16 bits and 48 kHz of potential information. So taking 16 bits as a notional starting size of one piece of information the following upgrade occurs:

16 bits=1; 17 bits =2, 18 bits =4, 19 bits = 8, 20 bits = 16, 21 bits = 32, 22 bits = 64, 23 bits = 128, 24 bits = 25. Mathematically therefore 24 bit processing will contain 256 times the stored information. The same is true of visual information. An 8 bit jpeg file with a fixed range of 240 colours is far inferior to a 16 bit raw or tiff file giving 61,440 colours. This difference is not possible to detect on a camera phone but is easy to see on a medium or large print with all the subtle extra shadings being very visible.

Latest research throws doubt on whether this extra information can be heard. With discs played back on reference equipment such as mine (the equivalent to a large print image), the differences can always be heard with the greatest differences being regularly apparent on the oldest recordings. These observations are made as I hear them following on from direct comparisons made between each earlier and re-mastered disc as reviewed. Readers using different playback equipment may have different listening experiences.
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The result on this disc is the expected increased 'presence' with added internal clarity and detail plus dynamic and frequency response compared to the original CD releases. The improvement is quite spectacular with the earlier thumping sounds of the pedal action now removed and with far more space around the recorded sound, both piano and orchestral. As a result the sound is altogether more sonically agreeable in addition to the increased ranges as explained above.

The performances of both concertos are so well known by now as to need little further comment from me other than to confirm that a spectacular and masterly display of bravura goes nowhere near far enough to describe this amazing feat of pianism.

The three Beethoven sonatas are well played at an upbeat set of tempi in the typical Richter manner of 1963 with a flowing approach to phrasing coupled with tight accenting. These are a gentle and less overtly demonstrative set of sonatas so a big scale and dramatic view would be inappropriate. Fortunately Richter plays these three works in a relatively moderate and restrained emotional way which is very satisfying. The piano sound and recording is less successful here with some 'ringing' of notes in playback which must have been caught on the original recording. Nevertheless this is not sufficient to warrant a serious drop in overall recommendation. Rather that minor problem, in my view, than the audibly wrong notes of the previous Liszt sonata coupling, which is a purely personal response to the preferred new coupling of course and simply reflects the way I was trained so many years ago!

This then is a notable success as a remastered release in terms of the concertos and arguable in terms of their coupling. I would suggest that on that basis it would be well worth considering a purchase to upgrade a previous edition. The concertos are genuinely legendary performances, have never been out of the catalogue, and deserve to be considered as a possibly essential purchase of them especially as they have never sounded better in CD format.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de force!, 14 July 2012
By 
D. Arrowsmith "David Arrowsmith" (Coventry UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
I have had these recordings on vinyl since they were first issued and have always admired and enjoyed them. Although I don't make a habit of buying CDs of works I already have on vinyl I made an exception in this case and I am happy I did. There is a greater sense of immediacy on this remastered CD which improves over the LP version, although to be honest not by much. That may say more about my hi-fi system than the recording itself because my turntable is of far better quality than my CD player.
Anyone looking for a recording of these two concertos will not be disappointed by this vibrant and powerful reading of No.1 and the more poetic and lyrical second.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite version of these concerti, 2 Feb 2013
By 
Frank Dernie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
I have owned the LP version for decades and decided to buy the CD since I have the odd scratch on the LPs.
The CD version is super, it doesn't have the added bass which you inevitable get from a turntable, and I quite like, but the clarity is good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly awsome performances of the concertos, 31 Dec 2012
By 
Bacchus (Greater London - Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
I confess that I am only reviewing the concertos on this recording having the original LP but I imagine that the performances of the Beethoven sonatas are likely to be awesome.

I never thought the concertos to be great pieces of music until I heard this recording. This recording was listed by Gramophone magazine as one of the 100 greatest classical recordings of all time but for too long have I avoided listening to it - what a waste!

In this recording, you get the sense that the pianist and conductor and orchestra take the music very seriously and do not simply regard the work as a virtuoso showpiece. This is evident from the first bars of the first concerto with a tremendous sense of attack. There are also some gorgeous heart stopping moments of tender pianism and some really beautiful solo passages (who was the LSO principal cellist at the time?). Amazingly, Richter does not overpower the orchestral players making the recording a true cooperation of musicians.

So, a truly inspired performance of the concertos.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent pianism but..., 23 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. E. Mace - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 (Audio CD)
I have long cherished my LP version of this recording and get similar satisfaction from the CD BUT... what happened to the very important triangle in the first concerto. It is so distantly recorded as to be almost non existent. Listen to my other cherished recording by Geza Anda on Testament and you'll hear the triangle just as it should be. Liszt used the triangle to deliberately inject humour (or so I believe) into the passage in question and this element is lost in the Richter version, good as the rest of it may be. So to fully experience Liszt's first, seek out the Anda.
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Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20
Liszt: The Piano Concertos / Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos.10,19, & 20 by Sviatoslav Richter^London Symphony Orchestra^Kyril Kondrashin (Audio CD - 2011)
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