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5.0 out of 5 stars Richter's Beethoven, 16 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 3, Bagatelles op. 126 Nos. 1, 4 & 6, Piano Sonata No. 29 'Hammerklavier' (Audio CD)
The insert card says first CD release, but actually the recording of 'Hammerklavier' Sonata was identical to the one released on CD by Stradivarius and other Italian labels. So it seems it is Sonata No.3 and Bagatelle No.1,4,6 (previously available on LPs) from this recital that are referred to as the first CD issue. The sound quality of the recordings is very similar to that of many live recordings of Richter from the 70s released under BBC Legend titles, there's background hissing noise throughout the recital, but not to the extent that his playing is spoiled.

But who really cares about the recording quality. The performances of such hight and intensity! The level of concentration he sustains in the final movement of 'Hammerklavier' is just incredible. And the time-stopping moments in Adagio. Sonata No.3 and Bagatelles are played with astounding virtuosity, but never self-serving; the sheer vitality and elan, inherent in Beethoven's music, radiates from Richter's playing.
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Initial post: 19 Feb 2013 19:30:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Feb 2013 22:47:49 GMT
SwissDave says:
It's almost the same as the Stradivarius, with the exception of the fourth movement of the Hammerklavier: the Stradivarius remastering used the fugue from the encore (Richter was so displeased he decided to repeat it). Having said that, both releases are edited (each contain fewer wrong notes than the actual performances). I've listened to the original radio broadcast many times and compared, and come to the conclusion I prefer the encore (= wish ICA had done what Stradivarius did - with Richter's authorization!).

I'm not usually bothered by it, but happen to find the hiss problematic in this particular instance - and for some reason, the original radio broadcast was quieter.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
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