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HAYDN, PROKOFIEV, Sviatoslav Richter

Piano Sonata in F, Hob.XVI:29 / Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor, Op.14 / Legende, Op.12/6

Haydn Piano Sonata in F, Hob.XVI:29 Prokofiev Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor, Op.14 Légende, Op.12/6 Visions fugitives, Op.22 [selection] Piano Sonata No.8 in B flat, Op.84 Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Recorded on 8 July 1961 in Royal Festival Hall, London
  • Sviatoslav Richter - piano
  • HAYDN
  • PROKOFIEV
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389.00 PLN

CD:

Nr kat.: BBCL4245
Label  : BBC Legends

This concert has enormous significance, for it represents Sviatoslav Richter’s British debut recital. It begins with his beloved Haydn; the F major Sonata here treated with the utmost reverence in its central Adagio. Richter’s approach to the first movement might seem rather austere at first, but careful listening reveals a multitude of subtle touches. Richter projects the quicksilver nature of this music while retaining stretches of eggshell delicacy. Even the grander, dotted rhythm sections seem a little withheld. Prokofiev’s Second Sonata was a Richter favourite (although the Sixth seems to have been his absolute choice of Prokofiev sonatas, if number of performances is to be taken as a guide). He brings a brittle texture to some parts that seems to link directly back to the Haydn he had just played. This is true even in the Andante, in which the soundworld could only be Prokofiev’s own. Richter brings a sense of burlesque to the finale, ensuring that the contrast with the liquid, legato section just before the two-minute mark is maximal. The brief ‘Légende’ from Ten Pieces (Opus 12) is given a whispered performance, at times bordering on the audible. The ten Visions fugitives that Richter chose to play represent the other side of Prokofiev. These are not separately tracked, effectively forcing them to be heard as a continual stream (as was surely the intention). Richter makes us feel that these are miniatures in name only; rather, he seems to imply, these are distillations of the pure essence of Prokofiev. Richter’s 1961 DG recording of Prokofiev’s Eighth Sonata is a classic. Richter found this sonata the richest, “like a tree that is heavy with fruit”, and one can only speculate that it is the work’s generally bleak demeanour that has made it only an occasional visitor to recital programmes generally. With Richter, there is something mystical about the directionally ambiguous melodic lines of the opening, 16-minute long Andante dolce. The minuet middle movement (which functions as a veiled interlude) under Richter’s fingers exudes mystery. The finale becomes a macabre whirligig. Richter is very sparing with the pedal here, emphasising the angularity of the lines. A magnificent document. https://classicalsource.com/db_control/db_cd_review.php?id=6415