Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Edvard Grieg, Robert Schumann, Lovro von Matacic|
Grieg: Piano Concerto; Schumann: Piano Concerto
Listen to Samples
Scrappy orchestra (ditto sound) but Richter is magisterial
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By 1974 Sviatoslav Richter was about to turn 60 and entering his eccentric late phase, in which he made fewer studio recordings, appeared randomly at small towns anywhere from Siberia to the south of France, generally on short notice, to play off the cuff, and fell into the habit of performing in dark halls with a reading lamp beside the keybooard to light up the score he insisted on using.
But this 1974 pairing of the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos reveals that the titan wasn't sleeping. In every bar Richter is so oriignal that instead of hearing a warhorse among warhorses, you feel you've never heard the Grieg concerto before. His approach is plain-spoken and rather broad, with no attempt at virtuoso flash. The magic is all in the phrasing, where Richter was peerless, and of course in his lion-like command of tone.
Von Matacic and the Monte Carlo orchestra follow Richter's lead; their part is fairly scrapy, and even in this remastering the EMI sonics are quasi-Soviet, showing a clangy, unpleasant edge in loud passages. Richter is the whole show (unlike the superb pairing of Fleisher and Szell in these concertos), making it hard for me to hear anyone else's Grieg A minor.
Richter competes with his own classic DG recording of the Schuman concerto conducted by Rowicki from 1959, but since he was probably the greatest Schumann pianist of the century, there's no reason to favor one over the other, only to appreciate both. The timings are nearly identical in all three movements, the orchestras and sound are less than ideal, yet the two conductors are sympathetic. The filler on this generous (73 min.) CD is the same 1962 Schumann Papillons recorded live in Italy that EMI has reissued many times. Who cares--it's great."
Richter Revisits Schumann
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 01/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pianist Sviatoslav Richter was one of the world's greatest interpreters of Schumann, and his 1958 Deutsche Grammophon recording of the Piano Concerto with Witold Rowicki and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra (currently available on CD in the "DG Originals" series) is most people's first choice recommendation, mine included. This CD in EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century" series offers Richter's 1974 remake with conductor Lovro von Matacic and Monte Carlo National Opera Orchestra. It is one of the very best performances available but it would be a lot to ask of any performer to outshine the initial greatness captured on the DG disc. Still, this title is very much worth purchasing, for Richter's Grieg is magical as well and it is a delight to once again hear Matacic in the EMI fold, who after numerous recordings for Walter Legge in the late 1950s and early 60s, seemed to disappear, undeservedly, from international prominence. In fact, for anyone looking for a Grieg/Schumann coupling, I would recommend this title over the Sony Essential Classics disc (where Entremont gives a good Grieg, paired with a brilliant performance by Serkin in the Schumann -- see my review) and the Radu Lupu on Decca Legends. The only coupling I personally prefer to this title is the recent Leon Fleisher/George Szell reissue in Sony's retooled "Great Performances" series, but alas those CDs are being sold exclusively through Tower. So in all, enjoy Richter on a great, but not the greatest, Schumann Piano Concerto of the century."
Jurgen Lawrenz | Sydney, Australia | 05/16/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Richter is a megastar on the pianistic horizon. When he goes of the rails the result is a megaflop. The same applies to EMI as a recording company; and as it happens, they both come together in this recording with one of the "GREAT FAILURES OF THE CENTURY".
You only need to audition Richter's DGG recording with the Warsaw orchestra. The sound of the orchestra is atrociously boxy, but somehow they managed to record the golden tones of the pianist, who is in a sensitive mood and attuned fully to the youthful ardour and charm of Schumann. Turn to this, and your first impression from the banging and clanging is that Richter really must hate this concerto. His tread is that of an elephant; he changes tempi wilfully; he lunges at the high notes with hammer blows; and so on. Thoroughly unpleasant. The piano sound is glassy; and as for the orchestra, they sound about as competent as a village band. This may be the engineers' fault. The trumpets are in front of the pianist! You shouldn't even hear them, most of the time, because their sound is padding. And the violins sound hard and shrill.
You would have to be a Richter-nut to go near this.
Many run of the mill recordings of this pairing give yo better value."