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#424151 - 07/02/01 12:10 AM Richter
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
I just got back from vacation and while I was away I read the Bruno Monsaingeon book-"Sviatoslav Richter" Notebooks & Conversations. I would recommend this book highly; Like his piano playing, Richter comes through as very honest and uninhibited.

He was a man who did it his way and only played what he liked. He was not interested in playing the same repertoire that had been done "too many" times---not that he didn't care for the Beethoven "Pathetique" sonata or the "Emperor" concerto, but it had been done and there wasn't much left to do with it. His repertoire was immense, with nearly 850 solo peices (not including the hackneyed pieces mentioned earlier that he never performed publicly),over 600 songs (accompaniments) and scores of chamber music.

The book is published by Princeton.

Mat D.

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#424152 - 07/04/01 10:41 PM Re: Richter
Aura Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 92
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Mat D:

Thanks for that. I love Richter's playing... especially his Prokofiev and Schubert recordings. His Schubert G major sonata is superb. I also have him playing the complete preludes and fugues of Bach, which I don't like... he seems always in a hurry... and doesn't fully understand the harmonic structure and shaping of the music. What do you think??? I know Richter loved playing Bach, but for me, some of his interpretations seem quite violent and jerky... of course, that's just my opinion. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about it.

Richter's Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto is GREAT!! It's a bit unconventional, but my favorite version yet.

Cheers
Aura
_________________________
cheers

Aura

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#424153 - 07/05/01 12:17 AM Re: Richter
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Aura,

I love most of what Richter played--it's true, his Bach was a bit more muscular, but that's what makes his Rach2 & Prokefiev so wonderful. His Schubert Wanderer Fantasy is one of the best I've heard also.

Have you read the book or seen "Richter, The Enigma"? The book gives you a much better feel for Richter, the man. I found him quite humble about his own performance, and when I listen to him now, I get an entirely different picture in my mind than I did before. He was 100% a musician and was true to himself always--how many artists can say that?

Best,

Mat D.

[ July 05, 2001: Message edited by: Mat D. ]

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#424154 - 07/05/01 08:31 AM Re: Richter
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Aura,

Are you interested in trading your Richter's complete 48? I don't have them on CDs. I'd love to have them. I'm another big fan of Richter. He played so many pieces that remained to be the BEST. His silvery legato is inimitable. To my ears his polyphonic presentations are revelatory, exemplified in the third part of Franck's Prelude, Chorale & Fugue. His Tchaikovsky #1 ranks high with that of Cliburn's. Nobody comes even close to his opening of Rachmaninov #2. His Brahms #2 is mercurial. His Saint-Saens #5 is a standard against which others are assessed. His Schubert Grand Sonata in Bb, D960 is the longest in recording history. Only he managed to deliver the music message in such a slow tempo and it still sounds wonderful. His decision to switch to Yamahas in his later years, IMHO, is a bad one. Tchaikovsky Grand Sonata in G is not a good composition to start with. In this maestro's hands it is an entirely different story. Like someone once said:

One goes to a Horowitz recital to be tickled and entertained. One goes to a Richter recital to be educated and edified.

[ July 05, 2001: Message edited by: AndrewG ]

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#424155 - 07/05/01 06:03 PM Re: Richter
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Andrew, I'm glad you mentioned the opening of the Rach 2----I didn't mention it specifically, but have always thought it was by far the best (especially the dramatic, powerful opening) of any recording of the Rach2---I'm sure Rachmaninov himself would agree.


Mat D.

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#424156 - 07/05/01 10:14 PM Re: Richter
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5303
Loc: McAllen, TX
Andrew,

Wasn't that Ashkenazy who said that?
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#424157 - 07/05/01 10:44 PM Re: Richter
Aura Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 92
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Mat D:

I have seen "Richter, The Enigma" and was absolutely taken in by his humbleness and "realness" as a musician. He was, as you said, 100% a musician.

I'm glad Andrew mentioned the Rach 2 opening - isn't it wonderful!

Have you heard a recording of Richter's Chopin Ballades?? As you probably know, from another post, I'm looking for good recordings of these as I am studying them, and really would like to hear Richter play them. I have only heard parts of No. 4 (which sound great...esp. coming into third last page) on "Richter, The Enigma". Would like some thoughts on his Chopin interpretations.

I must get my hands on a recording of his Wanderer Fantasy also... I have Rubinstein, and think it's astounding. So far, my Rubinstein version is my favorite, so I will be interested to hear Ricter's. What a wonderful musician and man.

Cheers
_________________________
cheers

Aura

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#424158 - 07/06/01 01:43 AM Re: Richter
yok Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 464
Loc: New Zealand
Aura:

I have heard three of the Ballades recorded by Richter, all live. The first two are in a recital on BMG/Melodiya and don't really show him at his best. However, there is a marvellous rendition of the Fourth on a DG disc of recordings made during a 1962 Italian tour. I just picked this up on LP the other day, but I assume it's still available on CD. It also includes the Op 61 Polonaise-Fantasie, the Op 10 Etudes 1 and 12, and the Debussy Estampes and Scriabin 5th sonata.

Just judging by his recordings, Richter's playing seems very variable, from unparalleled to quite average. It all seems to have depended on his mood. In that documentary he explained that he didn't like planning schedules well in advance because he couldn't be sure whether he would feel like playing.

AndrewG:

Didn't Richter switch to Yamahas because he felt that was the piano on which he could get the softest pianissimo? Do you think there was some trade off in the switch? He claims to have been very unfussy about instruments in his youth and was disconcerted by the choice of pianos available to him on his first US tour - he liked to leave it to fate!
I agree with you about Richter's polyphonic playing and I like almost all the Bach I have heard him play, even though it generally is on the fast side. I'm surprised by Aura's comment that Richter didn't understand Bach's harmonic structure. His feel for harmony seems to me one of the outstanding characteristics of his playing - not surprising given that his favourite composers were Wagner and Debussy.

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#424159 - 07/06/01 08:35 AM Re: Richter
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Hi all,

I have the recording yok mentioned which I happen to like. These two were recorded in 1963. I also have all 4 recorded in 1960 in Prague under the label Harmonica Mundi.

Aura,

I prefer Rubinstein's "Wanderer" over Richter's. My version of Rubinstein was recorded in Rome, April 20, 1965. Is this the same recording that you have? This is my 1st choice of "Wanderer" among my 7 versions. On the same CD Rubinstein played that Gb Impromptu so beautifully. This is again my favorite recording of this short piece. Have you heard the Piano & Orchestral version of "Wanderer"? Jorg Bolet has a wonderful recording under London.

Mat D,

My Richter's version is Schubert-Badura-Skoda. What is yours? I have this feeling that yours and mine are not the same recording. Just curious.

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#424160 - 07/06/01 08:47 AM Re: Richter
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
Andrew,

Wasn't that Ashkenazy who said that?[/b]


It could be, Brendan. I don't remember. Others said more or less the same thing at different times and location regarding these two pianists. I remember one newspaper art critic said something like this:

Horowitz played to please. Richter played to reveal.

yok,

I also read about the statement Richter himself and others made that he was never fussy about the pianos he was to perform on. The FACTS that I'm aware of seem to attest to the opposite...

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#424161 - 07/06/01 09:05 AM Re: Richter
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Mat D,

I thought this book review might interest you since you have already read the book. Care to share your thoughts more?
http://www.consider.net/forum_new.php3?n...RN=200107020045

Chow!

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#424162 - 07/06/01 10:19 AM Re: Richter
ryan in Idaho Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 12
Loc: Idaho
I would trade for Richter's set of 48 as well, especially since I don't have them on any media. I saw his recording of Book I on ebay a couple of weeks ago, but it sold for something like $44.00. Could I talk anybody into making me a copy??? \:\)

Ryan

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