One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,800 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Richter in Brooklyn
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No. 18 in E flat major, Op. 31 No. 3 'The Hunt' (1802) [22:53]
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 (1821-22) [21:37]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Variations sérieuses in D minor Op. 54 (1841) [11:47]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79 No. 2 (1879) [6:32]
Intermezzo in A minor, Op. 118 No. 1 (1893) [2:33]
Intermezzo in C major, Op. 119 No. 3 (1893) [2:18]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14 (1912) [20:29]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 3 in F sharp minor (1916-17) [2:37]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Alborada del gracioso (Miroirs No. 4) (1904-05) [6:41]
La Vallee des Cloches (Miroirs No. 5) (1904-05) [6:42]
George GERSHWIN (1898–1937)
Piano Concerto in F major (1925) [35:42]
Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mägi
rec. live, 22 April 1965, Brooklyn Academy of Music and 24 June 1993, Grand Theater, Tours, France (Gershwin). Mono except for Gershwin
PARNASSUS PACD96061-62 [67:49+70:33]

The USP here is that Richter’s 1965 Brooklyn recital is heard in full for the first time. If you can have two unique selling points then you can add that there’s an unpublished performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, in stereo, from a concert in Tours in June 1993.

It’s not too long ago that I reviewed the only other known recording marking Richter’s infatuation with this work (see review). There I noted Richter’s bewilderment at Entremont and Ormandy’s Gershwin recordings and how Richter’s own approach struck me as lumpen and stylistically misconceived. If things are slightly better here it’s because of the conductor, Paul Mägi, who had a background playing jazz violin and is a worthy conductor of this piece. Richter treats the slow movement as a romantic cantabile and the finale is pianistically very heavy-handed; full marks to Mägi for keeping things going.

The Brooklyn recital was recorded in situ on tape by an audience member and is not from a broadcast, so that one has to accept the limitations that this involves. Nevertheless, there are some brilliant moments to be heard in this high-voltage evening. Take the Prokofiev sonata, which is far more unsettled and ambiguous than in Richter’s Royal Festival Hall recital of around the same time, released on BBC Legends. True, the recording is necessarily dry and brittle in fortes and there are coughs, but this is a visceral and galvanic reading fully deserving of the barely controlled roars of approval from the audience.

Both the Rachmaninov and Ravel pieces exert an almost hypnotic spell. Though much quieter here there are still coughs and I assume one very nearby nasal or oral detonation has accounted for a one-second dropout in Alborada - a very brief and sadly fruitless attempt by Parnassus to mitigate the damage. One can also hear another corollary of ad hoc recital recording – loud vehicular noises.

But I would suggest having faith with this twofer. There’s an especially galvanizing performance of Beethoven’s Op.31 No.3, though here too there are dropouts, not least the blistering con fuoco finale. If you know the live performance on Brilliant Classics you should know that this Brooklyn reading is even more exciting, and he is rather more expressive in the slow movement of Op.110 than in the performance in the same Brilliant box. Something, though, has gone awry with the tracking here; the first two movements are singly tracked on track five, track six starts with the Adagio man non troppo of the finale and the final track picks up with its fuga. The Mendelssohn Variations has an Abram Chasins-like quality about it and it impresses powerfully.

There is no denying the irritations to be encountered from time to time during the course of this recital, which as noted is appearing in full for the first time. Equally, there’s no gainsaying the ferocity and sensitivity of the performances.

Jonathan Woolf

We are currently offering in excess of 51,800 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger