Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 3, 7 & 19
Newly reissued on CD, Denon Classics presents this specially budget-priced album featuring the legendary Russian pianist performing a live concert program of three Beethoven sonatas, which have been out of print and unavai... more »
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Newly reissued on CD, Denon Classics presents this specially budget-priced album featuring the legendary Russian pianist performing a live concert program of three Beethoven sonatas, which have been out of print and unavailable at retail. In these 1960s-era recordings, Richter is one with the heroic spirit gathering in Beethoven's development of the sonata form, bringing to it the interpretive power that only Richter could.
Richter is Superb - Sound is So-so
JMB1014 | USA | 03/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Richter does not disappoint. As usual, his insight and performance are well above and beyond the norm. I almost invariably find something new when Richter plays a piece, no matter how often I have heard it performed by others. Take the second (adagio) movement of the third sonata: Richter opens up and lets it rip with amazing passion and articulation at the same time. Kovacevich and Glenn Gould are simply anaesthetic by comparison. Only Brendel, among the versions I have, comes close. The sound is not fabulous, which Richterians will already expect, and polite applause follows performances, but the entire project is quite satisfying. Beethoven and Richter at this price - it could not realistically get much better."
Richter's Incomparable Beethoven
Scriabinmahler | UK | 07/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richter's Beethoven performances always have the incomparable urgency amd the transcendental quality no pianists nowadays are able to produce. It's not just the risk he takes in fast pasages, but the high level intensity of tonal delicacy in slow movements as well, that creates the unmistakable penetrating edge. This is a welcome issue for both fans and those who are not satisfied with well-manicured, superficial, spineless Beethoven performances of our time.
There's no booklet, just a 2-page artwork which has track list only. It says 'recorded live', but no date, no place of the recordigs. My guess is, they were recorded in Leningrad in 60s. Sound quality is pretty good stereo with ver little noise from the audience.
Sonata No. 3 in C, opus 2 no. 3
Sonata No. 7 in D, opus 10 no. 3
Sonata No. 19 in g, opus 49 no. 1
Leningrad, 17 Jan 1965"
Richter plants a stake in the sand: "This is Beethoven"
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 04/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the current economic furor, I learned a new term, "clawback" -- as in, trying to claw back the unearned bonuses of Wall St. bankters. But I'd like to apply it to this reissued CD by saying that Richter's incendiary reading of Op. 2 no. 3 is a ferocious clawback of Beethoven from the hands into which the composer has unfairly fallen. Instead of giving an inch to the current fad for Beethoven the classicist creeping forward from the era of Haydn, Richter turns this early and yet decisive sonata into one of the fiercest expressions of a restless, angry, implacable revolutionary.
Although Richter gave a number of similar performances of this sonata, which was one of his favorites, this one from 1960 is indispensable. It feels not only like a manifesto for Beethoven but for Richter himself, the uncompromising heroic artist whose will is as unshakeable as his idealism. The Soviet-era sound is a bit distant and reverberant but good enough; the location of the live concert isn't given.
The sound gets a bit grittier in Sonata no. 7, Op. 10 no. 3, another of Richter's chosen favorites, which he plays as massively as the Appassionata despite the early opus number. His loudest dynamics cause considerable microphone shatter, but I imagine Denon's remastering is in the best sound we'll ever get. It's not just a heroic stance and technical power that impresses me here -- no ohter pianist comes closer to recreating Beethoven's world, which was as complex and tumultuous as Mahler's. One really feels that all of Europe was meant to tremble at his feet, this self-created titan. (I wonder what a staring contest would have been like between Beethoven and Michelangelo.)
The program concludes with Sonata no. 19, Op. 49 no. 1, one of those slim Grecian maidens standing between two giants, as he said of Beethoven's even-numbered symphonies. Richter is rather more determined in his pacing and touch than more lyrical interpreters. I think he verges on the foursquare, actually; there's not much gracefulness in his reading and no trace of a smile. The sound is more closely miked than in the other sonatas, and the tapes are respectably cleaned up except for the occasional gritch and shatter. This is the least striking account on an othewise riveting CD. Needless to add, the whole thing is highly recommended.
(Note: I'm indebted to Larry VanDeSande's longer and better expressed review, which appears under the MP3 download of this CD.)