Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beethoven Vol 2
Listen to Samples
Richter's great Hammerklavier, a short flirtation
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 01/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1975 was the year of the Hammerkalvier sonata in the long caeer of Sviatoslav Richter. This riveting live performance dates from June 18 in London. It repeats an all-Beethoven program that Richter had started out by playing in Prague, where he was a regular summer visitor, on June 2. The reviewer below mentions that the finale was repeated as an encore, which is correct. But since the pianist did the same thing on several occasions, the casue might not have been dissatisfaction. With an artist of Richter's temperament, it's probably best not to speculate.
In any event, Richter hated the studio, or the 'tortue chamber' as he referred to it, so live recordings have proliferated since his death. Fans may own several copeting versions of Op. 106, including one on the Praga label. This one comes in goodish stereo, although the piano sounds hard when Richter makes strong attacks. Nor is he technically perfect, especially in the first movement. But in all other repsects he is wonderful, as original in Beethoven as any pianist of the century, not excluding Schnable. Allegros are impetuous, lyrical lines touchingly poetic, and every bar felt spontaneously, at the moment.
This at-the-moment quality separates Richter from every other piaanist in the post-war era, and for that reason, we can keep collecting his output forever without fear of duplication.
The entire program from which this sonata was taken can be found on a BBC Legends CD, in better sound since the original tapes are used. However, the setting is the Aldeburgh Festival, so there will be differences in performance. Richter authorities inform us that the Prague reading is the most fiery. After this stint ot touring, the Hammerkalvier never reappeared in the pianist's repertoire."