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Richter - The Authorised Recordings: Haydn/Weber/Beethoven Box set
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1. Son in D, Hob.XVI No.24: 1. Allegro
2. Son in D, Hob.XVI No.24: 2. Adagio
3. Son in D, Hob.XVI No.24: 3. Finale. Presto
4. Son in E flat, Hob.XVI No.52: 1. Allegro
5. Son in E flat, Hob.XVI No.52: 2. Adagio
6. Son in E flat, Hob.XVI No.52: 3. Finale. Presto
7. Son No.3 in d, Op.49: 1. Allegro feroce
8. Son No.3 in d, Op.49: 2. Andante con moto
9. Son No.3 in d, Op.49: 3. Rondo. Presto
1. Son No.9 in E, Op.14 No.1: 1. Allegro
2. Son No.9 in E, Op.14 No.1: 2. Allegretto
3. Son No.9 in E, Op.14 No.1: 3. Rondo. Allegro comodo
4. Son No.11 in B flat, Op.22: 1. Allegro con brio
5. Son No.11 in B flat, Op.22: 2. Adagio con molta espressione
6. Son No.11 in B flat, Op.22: 3. Minuetto
7. Son No.11 in B flat, Op.22: 4. Rondo. Allegretto
8. Son No.12 in A flat, Op.26: 1. Andante con variaazioni
9. Son No.12 in A flat, Op.26: 2. Scherzo. Allegro molto
10. Son No.12 in A flat, Op.26: 3. Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un eroe
11. Son No.12 in A flat, Op.26: 4. Allegro
12. Son No.27 in e, Op.90: 1. Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck
13. Son No.27 in e, Op.90: 2. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen
To hear Richter live was often to hear him at his best. What had been a mesmerising experience in the concert hall could, when transferred to the recording studio, become simply fossilised. Here is a fascinating programme taken from various concerts demonstrating a typically eclectic selection of pieces from his vast repertoire. Richter's Haydn is forthright and slightly frowning; an approach that works well in the E flat Sonata, No. 52 where he conveys a due sense of seriousness and grandeur. His Weber Third Sonata ladles on the ferocity of the opening "Allegro" and the drama is played for all it's worth. But he can charm (and humour) too, as he does most beguilingly in the variation-form slow movement. Richter's Beethoven is always compelling, even if you don't necessarily agree with his interpretation. This is a well chosen selection: from the first notes of the E major which begins the second disc you are gripped by this wonderful, disturbing story-teller. Other highlights include an effortlessly fluid finale to the same sonata, the variation-form first movement of Op. 26 (don't let the inferior sound put you off) and a highly concentrated and dramatic view of Op. 90. The live recordings vary in quality, but the playing is unwavering. --Harriet Smith
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