Monday, October 1, 2007

Grand Piano 004 - Sviatoslav Richter in Recital

Richter at his greatest, including Schumann and Beethoven performances which seem to go beyond the limits of possibility. Also an example of Richter's Chopin--not the composer he was best known for, but outstanding playing.

  • Schumann: Toccata op7 (Moscow - April 1958)

  • Chopin: Andante Spianato + Grand Polonaise - Op. 22 (London 1961, Kondrashin LSO)

  • Beethoven: Piano Sonata #23 in f minor - Op. 57 "Appassionata" - (Moscow 1960)

For this program I selected three of my favorite Richter recordings that would fit into the available time. The Schumann Toccata, from a Parnassus CD, was the single performance that convinced me to start our "Richter in the 1950s" series, simply amazing playing from every aspect. The Chopin is idiomatic and lovely playing of a real showpiece; Richter didn't have a great reputation as a Chopin player but this shows he could play Chopin most convincingly. Finally, the "Appassionata" is one of the supreme moments in all of recorded pianism. Richter plays with power and concentration on the highest level, and his playing of the finale is simply the greatest I've ever heard. Sometimes this performance seems to go beyond what is humanly possible.

Download Grand Piano Podcast GP 004 here (53 minutes, 49Mb, 128k mp3)

Subscribe to the Grand Piano Podcast here


Anonymous said...

Wonderful performance of the Appasionnata indeed leslie.
As usual you handle subjects with sheer love-of-music method.
many thanks for your texts which i worship.
G.M from belgium

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for sharing these podcasts with us. I live in Albany and used to enjoy The Grand Piano programs on WMHT many years ago very much. It's a real pleasure to listen to them again and again.

And, I was wondering, is it okay that I share this wonderful site with my blog readers in Taiwan (written in Traditional Chinese)? They are gonna love it very them.

Thanks again.

SJ from Albany, NY

Parnassus Records said...

It's very gratifying to read these comments.
Thanks G.M. for your kindness and generosity towards my old efforts. It's a pleasure for me to know that these programs, done with such pleasure almost a decade ago, are still alive and bringing people pleasure.
Thanks S.J from Albany. Of course I would be pleased to have you share my site with your readers in Taiwan. Who knows, someone may be inspired to check out the Parnassus Records website and buy a record to help keep our business going! Oriental record collectors are the most enthusiastic of all these days.
Best to all,
Leslie Gerber

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful podcast. Even though I had heard the performances before-it was so nice to be reminded of them on this night of all nights. Thank you.