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Richter Edition 8
These early recordings (1950-52) were made while Sviatoslav Richter was still playing this kind of virtuoso Russian music, an area he largely abandoned later in his life. If you enjoy the trivial Rimsky and Glazunov concer... more »
These early recordings (1950-52) were made while Sviatoslav Richter was still playing this kind of virtuoso Russian music, an area he largely abandoned later in his life. If you enjoy the trivial Rimsky and Glazunov concertos, you'll get a real kick out of the colorful virtuosity of these performances, pretty well conveyed by the recordings although they don't really do justice to Richter's tone. But Richter did make another recording of the Prokofiev, with Karel Ancerl, which is currently available on Supraphon and has a much better orchestra. In either case, the pianist gives this insouciant music all the juice it needs. --Leslie Gerber
Essential Early Richter
Jeffrey Lipscomb | Sacramento, CA United States | 04/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These early (1950-52) concerto recordings by Sviatoslav Richter are wonderful examples of the Russian pianist in less frequently-heard repertoire. The progression of the works here is of interest, for Rimsky taught Glazunov, who in turn was a teacher of Prokofiev. Transfers are excellent.
Rimsky-Korsakov's ingratiating one-movement piano concerto is hardly ever performed or recorded: there's also an excellent Oborin/Anosov account on Multisonic, but the Richter/Kondrashin here is the one to have, if you're having only one. The work's style seems patterned after the Liszt concertos. But, unlike Liszt, Rimsky was not a pianist (neither was Dvorak, who also wrote one piano concerto).
This is the only recording of the Glazunov that I have heard, and it's difficult to imagine anyone rendering it as infectiously as Richter. It's a tuneful affair that's slightly reminiscient of Rachmaninov with a dash of Saint-Saens. The CD notes relate how Prokofiev described Glazunov's skills as a pianist: "He played the piano well, in an unusual manner, but well. He often played without putting down the famous cigar in his right hand. He held it between the third and fourth fingers. I saw this with my own eyes. With the cigar between his fingers he could play everything, even the most difficult passages."
The Prokofiev 1st Piano Concerto is the only one of these works that still earns a place on international concert programs. This Richter performance is a real barn-burner, although his later account with Ancerl/Czech Phil. (Supraphon) has better sound and a superior orchestra (however, the Moscow Youth Orchestra here under Kondrashin is excellent). There are also excellent accounts from Katz/Boult (Cembal d'Amour) and Kerer with Kondrashin (Multisonic - see my review). The latter is a "live" performance that is my favorite by a tiny margin.
An essential Richter CD.