MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 58,121 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Camille SAINT-SAňNS (1835-1921)
Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major, Op. 103 Egyptian (1896) [31:00]
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Piano Concerto in F (1925) [35:53]
Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart/Christoph Eschenbach
rec. 30 May 1993, live Schwetzingen Rokokotheater
SWR MUSIC SWR19407CD [67:05]

This was not Richter’s finest hour. These two concerto performances were given in May 1993 at the Schwetzinger Festival. You could call it ‘Richter Plays F Major’ if you like, or ‘Richter plays badly’ if you prefer. Both would be true. This brace of concertos has been issued before on Hšnssler Classic HAEN 5196925, released back in 2010. Its appearance here is in the context of the Festival using SWR Tapes – no huge difference audibly distinguishes the two releases – but whilst the sound quality is fine, nothing can mitigate Richter’s approach which is, not to put too fine a point on it, rather like his long drawn-out Schubert slow movements but without the Schubert.

I can’t imagine anyone would voluntarily want to sit twice through his Gershwin Concerto. It can be defined in his own words as he is on record in Notebooks and Conversations as having listened to Entremont and Ormandy’s recording and saying: “Ouch!!! Can one really play the concerto like this? Fast, confused with no sense of rhythm…I’m amazed and dismayed…” Not, I suspect, as amazed and dismayed as most listeners will be at his arthritic progress through the Concerto, which is wholly devitalised. Eschenbach, with whom Richter enjoyed congenial relations, follows his pianist with professional dedication but he can’t bring lift where none exists and the big moments go for nothing. There’s lassitude instead of feeling and doctrinaire tempi and a dogged refusal to embrace joy.

The Saint-SaŽns Concerto fares better - but not by much. Where is the animato in the first movement and where – to cite the pianist Richter disliked in Gershwin – is Entremont’s joie de vivre in Saint-SaŽns? He famously recorded all five concertos. In comparison Richter jog-trots his way through and the slow tempi again prove rhythmically ruinous. There is some quiet nobility in the central movement and there are traces of beautiful, refined phrasing as well, but too much remains uncharacterised, let alone under-characterised. If you want to hear this Concerto properly just start with some pianists beginning with a ‘T’ – Thibaudet, Tacchino, Tagliaferro.

This is a souvenir of Richter in concert but it’s a woeful example of his musicianship.
 
Jonathan Woolf

 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus