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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Hammerklavier (except for Gilels), 29 Nov 2012
This review is from: Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 3, Bagatelles op. 126 Nos. 1, 4 & 6, Piano Sonata No. 29 'Hammerklavier' (Audio CD)
In my view this is the greatest recording of the Hammerklavier ever made apart from the studio recording by Emil Gilels. It is even more powerful than the performance Richter gave at the Aldeburgh Festival a week earlier (on BBC Legends) though that performance too must be heard. Other great performances have been made by Backhaus, Kempff, Pollini, Serkin and Solomon, and I would not want to be without any of them. But Richter ticks practically every box for me (though I find Gilels conveys more warmth and pathos in the long slow movement). It was at this concert that as the encore he repeated the last movement of the Hammerklavier. This disc is nearly 81 minutes long so there was no space for the encore. But how I would love to hear it! Presumably Richter was still not quite satisfied with even his overwhelming performance. What an extraordinary man!

PS. I have now discovered that the encore performance of the Fugue from the Hammerklavier is the one used in this version of the same performance on Stradivarius: Beethoven Piano Sonata No 29 Hammerklavier
except for the first few bars which are taken from the main performance. Richter himself authorized the Stradivarius recording. I have both performances and he does play the Fugue as an encore with renewed vigour. I have also discovered that the entire unedited BBC Radio 3 broadcast is available as a download from MediaFire. Ref: ?f0fikz53yly60a1
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2013 22:04:37 BDT
Joshua says:
I remember well this performance when it was first broadcast live that June evening in 1975. I was preparing for exams, and switched to Radio 3. What I heard remained indelible in my memory. I recalled an electrifying Hammerklavier and the cheers from the audience were justified after what I had heard. The applause was followed by a hush. Richter had returned. Surely there was no more for him to say? Within a few seconds , unexpectedly I recognised that he had started the introduction of the last movement once again. Having once been taken on one emotional rollercoaster I found myself being taken on a second even more stupendous ride. It was an overwhelming and unforgettable moment in all concert making. Thank you for the link to the BBC download.
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