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Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing of genius, 21 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Schubert: Piano Sonatas, D575, D625, D664 (Audio CD)
According to Richter himself, he was the first pianist to play the Schubert piano sonatas in public.
This disk is a recording of a London recital he gave in the late 1970s and, to my mind, is the best Schubert playing I have yet to hear.
I was struck immediatedly by the incredible shine, balance and purity of the performances: even though the hallmarks of the Richter personality are there, I was made to feel that I was listening to Schubert himself rather than the pianist.
And it is this purity of interpretation which, for me, was Richter's most important and most elevating trait. One found it in him more than in any other pianist I have heard.
Chris Harman.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Nov 2011 23:09:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2011 23:12:16 GMT
If that's what Richter is reported as saying, then maybe his comments have been misrepresented in translation. I'm sure that Richter would have been aware of performances by Artur Schnabel, Wilhelm Kempff and others which had been given long before Richter started playing Schubert's sonatas in concert.

I remember hearing this March 1979 recital broadcast by the BBC soon after Richter gave it; one of the sonatas has been omitted here as there wasn't space for the whole recital on the CD. I think you sum up the qualities of this recording succinctly. There are many fine recordings of Schubert's sonatas, but Richter's is special, precisely for the reasons which you give.

The coughing by the London audience is a disgrace though. Thankfully there are other Richter Schubert recordings in which we are spared the audience's insensitive contributions - the Philips/Decca account of the Sonata in G, D894, also from a London concert, is a marvel - but this BBC disc is certainly worth having.
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