If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sviatoslav Richter and Prague SO play Dvorak Piano Concerto Op.33 Cond. V. Smetacek


Sviatoslav Richter (1915-97) left behind the extraordinary legacy of a highly sensitive, angst-ridden yet ultimately serene musician, a true monstre sacré, a perfectionist in search of the absolute. The uncharacteristic liberty of his playing and the sense of exultation is astounding, illuminating these romantic compositions based on national folklore. They form a unique, totally unprecedented combination.
One simply cannot admire him enough. Richter is not just the "poet of the piano" but also its "mage".  He literally sparkles, dazzles with color, scintillates with energy and stuns with technique, and what is more we constantly feel that everything is happening directly before our eyes--right "here" and right "now". 

The slow movement with its incredible pianissimos could find a place on albums of music for meditation, and the finale sounds surprisingly poetic and airy. As we listen we have no sense of the pianist's age. Richter plays the fast movements with the dash and vitality of a thirty-year-old. While in the slow movement something so spectral suddenly emanates from the music that it sends a shiver down our spines. 

Antonín Dvořák
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G minor, Op.33

1.Allegro agitato
2.Andante sostenuto
3.Finale; Allegro con fuoco

Sviatoslav Richter, piano
Prague Symphony Orchestra
Václav Smetá
ček, conductor
Recorded Live, 2 June 1966

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