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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richter's phenomenal recital captured in excellent remastered sound, 26 Nov 2010
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sviatoslav Richter, Spoleto 14 June 1967: Haydn, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy (Audio CD)
At last the recordings of Richter's phenomenal Spoleto recital is available on CD! They used to be available on Vox Turnabout LP's with some disturbing noises from the audiences, but thanks to the excellent re-mastering and clean-up by the engineers, now you can fully immerse yourself in Richter's transcendental pianism without distraction. The note in the artwork says, "Where original tapes were not available, alternate sources were employed. The original sequence of the recital program has been restored to its proper order. Inherent tape hiss level changes, intrusive noises and a number of dropouts and impulse noises in the original tape sources have been remidied in this release." I've tried to detect the patch work they did, but it was barely noticible to untrained ears. The audience applauses are not intrusive and only add to the sense of occasion.

The original recording quality itself was on better side compared to Richter's other live recordings in the 60s, so in this newly remastered sound, the mesmerizing intricacy of his playing of Debussy's Preludes, for example, is presented with astonishing presence and atmosphere. They apparently could not remove the ringing of a church bell in Debussy's 1st Prelude, but strangely it sounds as if it's a part of the music creating a dream-like effect!

The wonderful expressiveness of Haydn's Sonata No.37 or the incandescent performance of Schumann's Noveletten grabs your attention immediately and makes you wonder why the piano suddenly becomes like a breathing living being when Richter plays it.

Richter plays the opening 'Moderato' section of Chopin's Gm Ballade in his characteristic contemplative tempo (too slow for my taste) and takes too much risk in the fast sections, literally to a breaking point, which results in a few slips of fingers, and the music dangerously comes close to a collapse in 'Presto con fuoco' section.

Track List:

1. Applause: Applause

2-5. Haydn - Piano Sonata No.37 (22) in E Major, HobXVI/22

6-7. Schumann - Noveletten, Op.22: No.1 in F Major & No.2 in D Major

8. Chopin - Ballade in G minor, Op.23: Ballade in G minor, Op.23

9. Applause

Debussy

10. Préludes, Livre II: 1. Brouillards

11. Préludes, Livre II: 2. Feuilles Mortes

12. Préludes, Livre II: 3. La Puerta Del Vino

13. Préludes, Livre II: 4. "Les Fees Sont D'Exquises Danseuses"

14. Préludes, Livre II: 5. Bruyeres

15. Préludes, Livre II: 6. "General Lavine"-Eccentric

16. Préludes, Livre II: 7. La Terrasse Des Audiences Du Clair De Lune Lent

17. Préludes, Livre II: 8. Ondine

18. Préludes, Livre II: 9. Hommage A S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C.

19. Préludes, Livre II: 10. Canope

20. Préludes, Livre II: 11. Les Tierces Alternees

21. Préludes, Livre II: 12. Feux D'Artifice

22. Préludes, Livre I: 9. La sérénade interrompue
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendent pianism, 19 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Sviatoslav Richter, Spoleto 14 June 1967: Haydn, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy (Audio CD)
I once booked a ticket for a Richter recital but was gutted when he cancelled at the last minute. This disc, however, shows what it was like to be at a Richter recital when the great man was at the height of his powers. Just to say that the playing is phenomenal, spun out with great varieties of tone colour. it's as if Richter is spinning a series of glorious coloured silks. The live recording is good and the audience pretty quiet throughout except at the end of each number when they break into hysterical applause. But, then, who wouldn't at such playing?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richter in recital. Need I say more?, 13 Aug 2011
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sviatoslav Richter, Spoleto 14 June 1967: Haydn, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy (Audio CD)
I've been on the look out for a suitable recording of the second book of preludes by Debussy to complement the two versions of Book One I already own (Roge, Michelangeli) and was very happy to settle for Richter's 1967 Spoleto recital. Judging by the liner notes, a good deal of trouble was taken to source uncorrupted recordings from and clean them up for CD, and none of that effort was wasted.

Richter loved to seek out new places to perform, and I can only guess Spoleto was one of them. Join an enthusiastic and unintrusive audience for an elegant sonata by Haydn, manic-poetic Schumann and a Chopin ballade of almost deranged virtuosity, before the pianist sinks into the poetic reveries of Debussy's second set of preludes. Sound quality is excellent and notes informative about Richter, though not the composers.
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