Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, Piano Sonata No. 1 by Sviatoslav Richter | 828766086027 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, Piano Sonata No. 1

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, Piano Sonata No. 1

5.0 2
by Sviatoslav Richter
     
 
Americans had only vague hints of the mighty virtuosity of Sviatoslav Richter before a thaw in the Cold War's chill allowed the Russian pianist to travel to the States in 1960 for a concert tour, at the behest of legendary impresario Sol Hurok. After a brief stop in New York, he was off to Chicago for a performance of Brahms's

Overview

Americans had only vague hints of the mighty virtuosity of Sviatoslav Richter before a thaw in the Cold War's chill allowed the Russian pianist to travel to the States in 1960 for a concert tour, at the behest of legendary impresario Sol Hurok. After a brief stop in New York, he was off to Chicago for a performance of Brahms's massive Second Concerto with Erich Leinsdorf conducting (Leinsdorf filled in at the last minute for Fritz Reiner, the Chicago Symphony's head maestro at the time, who was ill). Richter's command of the taxing score and his muscular technique, leavened by a keen poetic sensitivity, dumbfounded listeners. Thankfully, RCA had its microphones ready for a recording session that took place within days of the concert, and the resulting LP became an instant classic. Repackaged here at a bargain price in RCA's Classic Library collection, Richter's performance has lost none of its potency: from the opening bars, with the singing horn solo buttressed by deep rumbles in the piano, to the thorny Scherzo (astonishingly recorded in one take), the lyrical Andante, and the dancing finale. Leon Fleisher's and Rudolf Serkin's recordings of this titan, among others, are justly celebrated, yet none matches Richter for awe-inspiring strength and sheer visceral thrills. A later 1988 recording of Brahms's First Sonata makes a valuable addition to this indispensable reissue.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Back in the '50s and '60s when RCA was one of the two dominant American classical record companies, the big debate was over which of their two recordings of Brahms "Piano Concerto in B flat major" was better: the Emil Gilels with Fritz Reiner from 1958 or the Sviatoslav Richter with Leinsdorf from 1960. Both are with the Chicago Symphony at the peak of its strength and sensitivity. Both had RCA's stereo sound at the height of its clarity and reality. And both featured the two greatest Russian pianists of the postwar period: the magisterial and mercurial Gilels and the mighty and monumental Richter. It's a tough call and the answer is now as it was then: hear both and find out for yourself. As brilliant and beautiful as the Gilels is and as powerful and persuasive a conductor as Reiner is, the Richter remains the one to get. Richter's technique always seemed a bit more brilliant and his interpretation always seemed a little deeper, but the sheer exuberance of his virtuosity always seemed more compelling and ultimately, more exciting. Although Leinsdorf was not the commanding leader that Reiner was, the Chicago plays nearly as well and perhaps a tiny bit more expressively for Leinsdorf than it did for Reiner. However, RCA's 2004 digital remastering is not nearly as clear and warm as the 1960 LP original, so while Richter's performance is sublime, RCA's sound is mediocre.
New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
The sheer power of Richter's playing, by which I mean its surging and colossal sweep, not just its volume, is overwhelming.... A stupendous recording.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/13/2004
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828766086027
catalogNumber:
60860
Rank:
91574

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83  - Johannes Brahms  - Erich Leinsdorf  -  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  - Robert LaMarchina  - Robert LaMarchina
  2. Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, Op. 1  - Johannes Brahms

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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, Piano Sonata No. 1 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This recording has been an all time favorite of mine. When it first came out it was an RCA "record of the month" and we received it as such. The power of Richter's artistry is overwhelming. My children grew up listening to this music. I have actually worn out three LPs and have owned two CDs of this same recording. The original album said this was his first American recording. It is his best in my humble opinion. This recording is a "must" for anyone's library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago