Four concertos played by Richter

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slofstra
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Four concertos played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:41 pm

Yesterday I pulled one of the larger Richter boxes I own, and I'm at CDs in the fourties somewhere. What bliss!
First, the two concertoes by Liszt, conducted by Kondrashin with the LSO. There is nothing finer in those concertoes, although I've never not enjoyed anyone playing them. But Richter was snappy and sharp as usual, and the LSO in fine form.
There were some Beethoven sonata's padding out that disc. Again, top version of sonatas 10, 19 and 20. Richter's performance of sonata number 10 might well be the best in the field.

And now to the point of this post. The next disc had Rachmaninoff's Second PC and Tchaikovsky's First. The Rachmaninoff was competent, no longer one of my favourites through overplaying it, but the Tchaikovsky First under von Karajan was a bore. What is it with von Karajan and Tchaikovsky? I dislike him conducting the Tchaikovsky symphonies as well.
And with the Vienna Symphony and Richter at your disposal, how could you mess that one up? I recognize that there's some presumption in that question as my viewpoint might be an outlier, but there are points when I wondered if everyone on the stage or in the studio had either fallen asleep or were watching a fly on the wall while they continued to play.
For the record, my reference point in Tchaikovsky is Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, uniformly excellent. But HvK, no thanks.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Rach3 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:17 pm

I agree with you about Richter's Liszt concerti with Kondrashin/LSO, mine the Phillips 35mm lp.I never listen to recordings of # 1 , rarely to # 2, but if I do # 2 , it is that recording.

The PIT # 1 with Karajan was roundly criticized by many at the time for its glacial tempi.I've never heard it.If I listen to the work a all , it's usually only live performances by a pianist I follow, hoping for a uniquely inspired, original performance, which does occur , if rarely.

In 1968, I attended a "10th anniversary of 1958 Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition" performance by Van Cliburn with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, in the Northrup Auditorium ( a barn, capacity 4847 at the time ) on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.Sold out.He played the Tchaikovsky # 1 first half, Rach # 2 after intermission, plus 4 encores ( "Widmung", Chopin's 3rd Waltz,the Szymanowski early 3rd Etude, and the Chopin "Heroic" Polonaise ), but to me did not seem to be enjoying himself , mailed them in.He was burning out even by then.His recording of the Rach # 2 with Reiner/CSO,originally an RCA lp I have, IS worth hearing.The Saturday Review ( now defunct) esteemed critic, the late Irvin Kolodin, liked VC's playing, but wondered why the CSO was almost " absent" both audibly and musically.I also wonder, as Cliburn made several RCA recordings with Reiner/CSO, but Reiner was apparently a jerk.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Holden Fourth » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:32 pm

I like the Richter/Wislocki recording of the Rach #1 but never listen to the Tchaik #1 on the same CD. That honour goes to the Gilels/Reiner. Reiner, at least, knew how to be an accompanist as opposed to HvK who always wanted everything his own way.

The HvK recording of the LvB Triple concerto with Richter, Rostropovich and Oistrakh is simply ordinary in comparison to what those three did with with Kondrashin conducting the Moscow Philharmonic.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm

Those are interesting responses. When I don't like something, and the performers are top-tier, then I always wonder if it's just me, which I'm perfectly okay with, or if the issue is more general.
So it would seem to be more general.
The Triple Concerto with Hvk, with Rostoprovich, Oistrakh and Richter, was roundly criticized by a famous critic, whose name escapes me at the moment.
But I've never liked the piece all that much, by anyone.
It's down there with Wellington's Victory. :)

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by barney » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:02 am

slofstra wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm
Those are interesting responses. When I don't like something, and the performers are top-tier, then I always wonder if it's just me, which I'm perfectly okay with, or if the issue is more general.
So it would seem to be more general.
The Triple Concerto with Hvk, with Rostoprovich, Oistrakh and Richter, was roundly criticized by a famous critic, whose name escapes me at the moment.
But I've never liked the piece all that much, by anyone.
It's down there with Wellington's Victory. :)
If I recall aright, that triple concerto was very much disliked by two of the soloists, who wanted it not to be released. But HvK over-ruled; it was exactly to his taste. And it must be said, that performance has been much acclaimed, far more than it has been criticised. It may be, of course, that we are seduced by the glamour of the names: Oistrakh, Richter, Rostropovich, BPO, Karajan - it doesn't get much more luminary than that.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:12 am

Interesting comments about the Richter/Oistrakh/Rostropovich/HvK Beethoven Triple Concerto.Frankly, I've loved that recording since I first heard it as a teenager, along with the Brahms Double Concerto recorded around the same time. I remember Richter was unhappy, but about what, I'm not sure. Was it criticized when it was first issued? At any rate, amazon listeners seem to like it, giving both current single disc editions five stars, and I can find not great fault in it.

As for Tchaikovsky's Concerto I, if you haven't heard it, get ahold of Argerich/Kondrashin, a live performance where she is absolutely scintillating! Kondrashin was, of course, the conductor on the RCA disc with Van Cliburn that made him so famous, and he lets Argerich do sparkling things in the second movement and a hair-raising finale that leaves all others in the dust!

It's available for free listening on American amazon.

Image

As for Rachmaninoff II, I've already posted negative comments about Richter's DGG recording: perhaps if he had been working with a more sensitive conductor? My preference through the years has been Rubinstein/Reiner or Van Cliburn. I also recall that after the sessions were done, Rubinstein swore he would never work with Reiner again, and he never did. However, Van Cliburn did, and he recorded some excellent Beethoven (IV & V) with Reiner just before Reiner's death.

As for HvK's abilities with Tchaikovsky..... :P I'm with MravinskyLeningrad in IV & V, and Toscanini or Ormandy w/Philadephia in VI.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:41 am

barney wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:02 am
slofstra wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm
Those are interesting responses. When I don't like something, and the performers are top-tier, then I always wonder if it's just me, which I'm perfectly okay with, or if the issue is more general.
So it would seem to be more general.
The Triple Concerto with Hvk, with Rostoprovich, Oistrakh and Richter, was roundly criticized by a famous critic, whose name escapes me at the moment.
But I've never liked the piece all that much, by anyone.
It's down there with Wellington's Victory. :)
If I recall aright, that triple concerto was very much disliked by two of the soloists, who wanted it not to be released. But HvK over-ruled; it was exactly to his taste. And it must be said, that performance has been much acclaimed, far more than it has been criticised. It may be, of course, that we are seduced by the glamour of the names: Oistrakh, Richter, Rostropovich, BPO, Karajan - it doesn't get much more luminary than that.
There is something to that, well, more than something. That piece just feels cluttered to me, but it was performed recently by our local K-W Symphony. Our local audience is generous with standing O's, which I think is great. (I hate seeing these Berlin audiences on my BPO online subscription who simply don't know what they've got. They should jump to their feet every single time based on what I hear. Instead, it's, vell, Fritz, do vee get out of r seats thith time. I'm feelink a bit tired tonight.)
Anyway, there's a lot of glitter on stage with three soloists (are they soloists when there's three?) and there's a bit of a spectacle to it. They did receive a standing ovation. I'm usually up there with them, and sometimes the first to rise, but not this time.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:51 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:12 am
Interesting comments about the Richter/Oistrakh/Rostropovich/HvK Beethoven Triple Concerto.Frankly, I've loved that recording ...
I remembered the name of the critic. He's not obscure, but sometimes it's embarrassing what I can't bring to mind.
https://slippedisc.com/2020/01/a-beetho ... in-threes/

I should couch my remarks on the Triple Concerto, versus the remarks on that specific performance of the Tchaikovsky PC1, by saying that it may be that I haven't heard the right performance yet. It's not like I've given the piece a great deal of attention.

It's interesting that Lebrecht also favours Argerich on this piece, but with the Hamburg Symphony and Ion Marin.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:11 am

Couple more thoughts.

I like the Mravinsky's Tchaikovsky symphonies but not half as much as Ormandy. I have quite a number of recordings of these symphonies, including the disappointing HvK. Some of these I haven't aired thoroughly so can't really comment, like an Abbado set and some Concertgebouw recordings. However, Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony are excellent in Tchaikovsky.

And about the amazon reviews. I think the overall ratings, or what you might call a consensus, are mainly a nonsense. With classical recordings the reviews are from people predisposed to like that particular recording ... because they bought it. Everyone always wants to confirm that they have the best of whatever they bought, and if they want to be really overbearing, you'll get a really long story about how they also got the best price.
(I'm still upset about the money I splurged on an egregiously bad Bluray Wagner set, well, IMO, it's bad. But all the reviews were highly positive.)
I do put credence on individual well-written reviews on Amazon, especially by reviewers who write extensively so I know they are surveying the field. (Yes, I know barney is one of these. :) )

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:33 am

slofstra wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:51 am
maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:12 am
Interesting comments about the Richter/Oistrakh/Rostropovich/HvK Beethoven Triple Concerto.Frankly, I've loved that recording ...
I remembered the name of the critic. He's not obscure, but sometimes it's embarrassing what I can't bring to mind.
https://slippedisc.com/2020/01/a-beetho ... in-threes/

I should couch my remarks on the Triple Concerto, versus the remarks on that specific performance of the Tchaikovsky PC1, by saying that it may be that I haven't heard the right performance yet. It's not like I've given the piece a great deal of attention.

It's interesting that Lebrecht also favours Argerich on this piece, but with the Hamburg Symphony and Ion Marin.
Yeah, well!

Try searching CMG for JohnF's comments about Norman Lebrecht before you give him too much credibility. Lebrecht here decides because Richter made a disparaging comment that the whole recording should be panned. What rot! Lebrecht has been found to have been inaccurate on more than one occasion, and his credibility, in my book, is quite low.

I'll stick by my own evaluation, but I will re-investigate the Argerich, which is in my library, but I haven't heard it in a while.
by John F » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:49 amWell regarded? By who? Lebrecht has been practicing a kind of muckraking controversy for its own sake that compels attention, but as you've found out, you can't trust him. One review of "The Maestro Myth" says, and it's entirely justified: "Nearly every page contains some careless blunder or spelling mistake. Too much of 'The Maestro Myth' in fact betrays the sensibility of a tabloid columnist who cannot distinguish between tattle and truth - and worse, doesn`t seem to care."His most recent book, "The Life and Death of Classical Music" (2007), libeled Klaus Heymann, the founder of Naxos Records. Most of Lebrecht's victims just let his comments pass, but not Heymann, who sued him. The publisher settled out of court and agreed to recall unsold copies of the book and other undisclosed penalties. Since then there have been no more Lebrecht books, and no wonder - no publisher with any sense, let alone self-respect, would have anything to do with that kind of author. Nor does any newspaper publish his stuff any longer. Instead he publishes it himself in the blog "Slipped Disc." Quote from that and you'll hear from me. :mrgreen:

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:51 am

'John F' took the whole business of classical music commentary much more seriously than I do. I don't mean in his own commentary, which was exemplary, but in how he surveys the field versus how I survey the field. I remember he was most upset by a book which spent hundreds of pages methodically ranking the composers from 1 to 50 that I commented on. I also put little credence in such rankings, but I find them fun. He found them irritating. There is harm in the practice of awards, and who is best, et cetera, when taken too seriously. I would like to see less emphasis on 'recording of the year', Grammies and all that stuff. I pay little attention to it, myself. But the top 30 tenors of all time? Bring it on. It's fun to kick stuff like that around.
So, I take his criticism of Lebrecht with a grain of salt. Now, don't get me wrong. I respect his point of view, because classical music was a more serious enterprise and he brought much more to the table on that score than I do. I'm in it purely for the pleasure that it brings. Do you know that I used to have a collection of classical tapes in my car when I didn't have much leisure time, and just play them at random without knowing the name of the composition or the performer? I guess I don't greatly care on how credible Lebrecht is, but then I also filter what he says on that basis. I would much rather hear some strong views than read a cheerleading section, I will say.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Rach3 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:06 am

barney wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:02 am
If I recall aright, that triple concerto was very much disliked by two of the soloists, who wanted it not to be released. But HvK over-ruled; it was exactly to his taste.
Your recollection is correct. Richter himself in Monsaingeon's "Notebooks and Conversations":
"The first time we (Richter,Oistrakh,Rostropovich) found ourselves sharing the same platform was in Moscow, for Beethoven's Triple Concerto.It was a good concert.And it clearly was an attractive billing, as we were then invited to record the work with Karajan,with whom each of us had already worked on his own.It's a dreadful recording and I disown it entirely.As for the actual recording sessions, I remember them only as a total nightmare.Battle lines were drawn up with Karajan and Rostropovich on the one side and Oistrakh and me on the other.Rostropovich was falling over himself in his attempts to do everything Karajan wanted,whereas Karajan had a superficial and clearly wrong-headed view of a work that has never had good press but of which I'm personally very fond.Among other things, the second movement was taken far too slowly.He held back the natural flow of the music.He was faking it, and neither Oitrakh nor I had any time for this. But Rostropovich had gone over to the enemy, trying to push himself forward, whereas what he has to play there is no more than figurations.Karajan could see I wasn't happy and that Oistrakh was sulking.He asked why.I was intentionally remaining in the background, not so much to annoy him, but because I found Rostropovich so exasperating.Suddenly Karajan decided that everything was fine and that the recording was finished.I demanded an extra take.'No,no,' he replied,'we haven't got time,we've still to do the photographs.' To him, this was more important than the recording.And what a nauseating photograph it is, with him posing artfully and the rest of us grinning like idiots.(Rach: That photo is on the cover of my lp of the work.).

"On the whole, Karajan's behavior was not particularly attractive.One day, while we were talking, I happened to say 'I'm a German', to which he replied : ' In that case,I'm a Chinaman.'But there are other things for which I can't forgive him.In our recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto, there's a disgraceful mistake that's due entirely to his pig-headedness.It's in the second movement, when the main theme returns after the cadenza.He stopped conducting, although I'd specifically asked him to give me an upbeat.He obstinately refused to do what I wanted, which was no more than rhythmic precision.The result was this mistake ,an absolute abomination."

About Rostropovich before the Triple Concerto recording was made : " Over the years we performed a large part of the cello repertory together, and even though there are lots of things for which I have to forgive Rostropovich,I remain grateful him for introducing me to Benjamin Britten.With Rostropovich, I found a common language; at the time, we were on good terms ,not only as far as music was concerned, but in all manner of idiotic ways...But later we drifted apart, for all kinds of reasons.He always took the credit for everything and harboured ambitions that had nothing to do with music -- and this from a man who was a musician to the very core of his being.That's something I've never been able to tolerate.I don't like it,there's nothing I can do about it.One of our last attempts to record together was Beethoven's Triple Concerto."

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:27 am

Yes, John Francis was himself a critic, and he took the issue of integrity in what is written and said about music and musicians very seriously, as do I.

I'm extremely grateful for my life in music, both as a performer and a student of music performance, from choral singing in my twenties in Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, to ten years of studying and teaching vocal technique, to six years of conducting studies at Juilliard and all the performing that came in-between. John and I spent so many hours with music during our lives, and thus formed our own opinions about what was good and what wasn't: we disagreed as often as we agreed, I guess.

My point is that each person's life shapes his/her opinions on music that they are experiencing now. The fact is that I've made recordings with singers that they were not happy with in the studio, yet when they heard them later after the technicians worked their magic, all was well. I suspect Richter's comment about the Triple Concerto was an emotional reaction to working with HvK. Somehow, it was noted, and made the rounds of the rumor mill, but I sincerely hope that he changed his opinion over the years, because he sounds quite wonderful, in spite of what he claims is a slow tempo in the second movement. I've been known to overrule singers who wanted to spend extra time with a certain passage, but in the end, they turned out to be quite happy with the result.

I have several recordings by Richter where I find his tempo to be too slow, so I'm not at all sure that, in spite of his obvious genius at the keyboard, he was the best judge of tempo. If he disagreed with HvK, well, that happens often, and the maestro wins, but to accuse von Karajan of "faking it" is, IMHO, quite a stretch, especially in such a well-regarded and best-selling recording that has never been out of print.

Thanks Rach3 for the book excerpt. Can you please clarify when that interview took place?

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:55 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:27 am
Yes, John Francis was himself a critic, and he took the issue of integrity in what is written and said about music and musicians very seriously, as do I.

I'm extremely grateful for my life in music, both as a performer and a student of music performance, from choral singing in my twenties in Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, to ten years of studying and teaching vocal technique, to six years of conducting studies at Juilliard and all the performing that came in-between. John and I spent so many hours with music during our lives, and thus formed our own opinions about what was good and what wasn't: we disagreed as often as we agreed, I guess.

My point is that each person's life shapes his/her opinions on music that they are experiencing now. The fact is that I've made recordings with singers that they were not happy with in the studio, yet when they heard them later after the technicians worked their magic, all was well. I suspect Richter's comment about the Triple Concerto was an emotional reaction to working with HvK. Somehow, it was noted, and made the rounds of the rumor mill, but I sincerely hope that he changed his opinion over the years, because he sounds quite wonderful, in spite of what he claims is a slow tempo in the second movement. I've been known to overrule singers who wanted to spend extra time with a certain passage, but in the end, they turned out to be quite happy with the result.

I have several recordings by Richter where I find his tempo to be too slow, so I'm not at all sure that, in spite of his obvious genius at the keyboard, he was the best judge of tempo. If he disagreed with HvK, well, that happens often, and the maestro wins, but to accuse von Karajan of "faking it" is, IMHO, quite a stretch, especially in such a well-regarded and best-selling recording that has never been out of print.

Thanks Rach3 for the book excerpt. Can you please clarify when that interview took place?
I take a different view of Richter's comments. I suspect that the primary problem was that HvK, as with many conductors of that time, never listened to anyone, and normally did not need to; a soloist of lesser stature would just capitulate. The conductor generally has much more power than the soloist and the relationship is unbalanced.
And as happens so often the matter of the disagreement isn't the problem; it becomes a clash of ego's, and not being listened to, or treated with sufficient respect.
Richter liked to work with lesser conductors, and I suspect that was just so he could have a modicum of control over his performances. The same was true of Gould.
Whether or not Richter or HvK was more "correct" in their judgements is not a question that is worth answering or even can be answered. The artist also has to be free to make errors in judgement, to stretch boundaries, and try different things, so can never, in that sense, be said to be wrong.
I hope your views about integrity do not extend to this forum. This is, after all, a "chatterbox" so it should be a place people can let their hair down and not take themselves or others too seriously. In that it is distinct from writing a review, but even Amazon and listener reviews in general should be much more in the line of a personal response than trying to say something objective about the performance.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Rach3 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:05 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:27 am
Thanks Rach3 for the book excerpt. Can you please clarify when that interview took place?
Others are probably more knowledgable, and I may err, but it appears Richter himself kept his own notebooks from about 1970 to 1995.He then worked with Monsaingeon from about 1995 until Richter's death in 1997 to put his notes into book form. I suspect some of Richter's account was noted by Richter at the time of the Beethoven Triple recording, and he then added detail later in his conversations with Monsaingeon.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:42 am

This is, after all, a "chatterbox" so it should be a place people can let their hair down and not take themselves or others too seriously. In that it is distinct from writing a review, but even Amazon and listener reviews in general should be much more in the line of a personal response than trying to say something objective about the performance.
Sure! Totally agree here. :)

As to "correct" tempo, musicians often disagree, but the conductor always wins. That's the whole point of having a conductor. Richter was a star, a great soloist and interpreter, but even great musicians often disagree, and in this case, I take the side of von Karajan, just because his decision works for me. Von Karajan's tempo choices in that era were sometimes on the slow side. Listen to his DVD of the Brahms German requiem, and you'll hear what I mean when you compare it to other versions by, say, Bruno walter or Klemperer (Jose van dam and Gundula Janowitz were the soloists.). (That said, I'm not at all fond of his Brahms Symphonies, which sound unfocused and dull to my ears.) But it works splendidly in the Requiem. His tempi in the 1963 set of Beethoven Symphonies mirror Toscanini's early 1950's performances, however, which were more than a bit fast at the time. I do think that Richter showed bad form being so open with his disagreement, but he had the right to do so, being independent and having no need of von Karajan's political support at the time.

In spite of Richter's pique, the success of the recording speaks for itself, IMHO, and he only diminishes his own reputation as an artist by expressing it.

I remember a similar occasion involving the great Rachmaninoff pianist Jorge Bolet, also admired for his Liszt interpretations. Bolet was a client of mine at the New York Athletic Club: every time he played in NY, he used to buy a fresh formal shirt from me (at an artist's discount, of course!) for good luck when he stayed at the club. One afternoon, after playing a Rachmaninoff III with Dohnanyi/Cleveland in Carnegie Hall, he stormed into my store and ranted more than a bit about what an awful musician Dohnanyi was and how that conductor had no clue about how Rachmaninoff's music should go. I was stunned, to say the least, that he would display his anger in such a public manner, but I held my tongue and let him go on, until he left. The very next day, he appeared with his manager and apologized profusely for loosing his temper so dramatically. Of course I signaled that I understood him completely, and assured him that the story would not escape my lips. Sadly, Bolet died of AIDS just a few years late (1990), but I still didn't feel free to tell the story until Dohnanyi left Cleveland in 2002.

So, that's why I am so surprised that Richter would go so public, and show so little restraint. I guess he just thought he didn't have to.

Thanks for the clarification, Rach3!

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:11 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:05 am
maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:27 am
Thanks Rach3 for the book excerpt. Can you please clarify when that interview took place?
Others are probably more knowledgable, and I may err, but it appears Richter himself kept his own notebooks from about 1970 to 1995.He then worked with Monsaingeon from about 1995 until Richter's death in 1997 to put his notes into book form. I suspect some of Richter's account was noted by Richter at the time of the Beethoven Triple recording, and he then added detail later in his conversations with Monsaingeon.
So that explains it!

Von Karajan died in 1989, so at least Richter kept his anger to himself until after von Karajan's death. At least he did that! I'm still disappointed that Richter didn't just get over it, though, and stayed angry for all those years. Wow! That's called holding a grudge! :roll:

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by barney » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:34 pm

What a lot of discussion has gone on in this thread since I last checked in! :D And it's all very interesting. CMG at its best.
Tangentially, JohnF and I crossed swords on Norman Lebrecht. John couldn't stand him. Norman can be a show pony, but he loves music, is always entertaining, and his views are worth considering, though even I often disagree. Hes a terrible gossip, but so what? Aren't we all? And he has tremendous sources.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:40 pm

Good discussion. I enjoyed the commentary. Is it really true that in a concerto the conductor should have absolute say over tempo? I should think that the tutti's are the window dressing and everyone is assembled to hear the soloist. So I think it should be about making that soloist shine. It's sublime when the soloist and orchestra are nicely integrated, of course.

There is also the famous tiff between Gould and Bernstein concerning tempi for the Brahms PC1.
https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/1962- ... eye-to-eye

I have heard since that the slow tempi Gould wanted are not now uncommon.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Rach3 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:35 pm

slofstra wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:40 pm
There is also the famous tiff between Gould and Bernstein concerning tempi for the Brahms PC1...I have heard since that the slow tempi Gould wanted are not now uncommon.
Unfortunately, true in some, but not all, cases. Brahms PC # 1 recordings I have and recommend without qualification are Rubinstein/Reiner, Backhaus/Boult, Malcuzynski/Wislocki,Kapell/Mitropolous(live),Schnabel/Szell,Barto/Eschenbach(live),Katchen/Bour(live).

As for tiffs, and despite their earlier Brahms' PC #1 great success, Rubinstein and Reiner had a falling out during their original RCA recording of the Rach PC # 2 and Rhapsody ( 2 really great recordings, nonetheless ), somewhat along these lines (reportedly) : It appears that Rubinstein dropped a few notes in the last movement of the PC # 2 and wanted to do a re-make. Reiner refused. A rather heated discussion followed with Rubinstein asking Reiner if the orchestra made mistakes would (Reiner) re-make that portion.Reiner's answer was "my orchestra never makes mistakes". At that point, the pianist stormed off the stage. RCA did manage to get the two together to patch those parts in question but Rubinstein would never make another recording with Reiner. Also as a result Heifitz joined the "boycott".

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by barney » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:47 pm

I didn't know that Gould/Bernstein story. It almost beggars belief, a conductor coming on stage before a concert and disavowing the soloist and the performance. But at least Bernstein did let Gould determine the tempi.
Rubinstein/Reiner story is fascinating too. I am sure it happens more often than we know.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:49 am

barney wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:47 pm
I didn't know that Gould/Bernstein story. It almost beggars belief, a conductor coming on stage before a concert and disavowing the soloist and the performance. But at least Bernstein did let Gould determine the tempi.
Rubinstein/Reiner story is fascinating too. I am sure it happens more often than we know.
Yes, that Gould/Bernstein disagreement has been the stuff of legend since it happened. In fact, a commercial recording of the concert taped by the orchestra was released and continues to be available on CD. It includes the complete opening remarks by Bernstein, where he raises the question in front of the audience, "In a concerto, who's boss?" The answer, of course, is that it depends on the two people involved. IOW, Richter obviously wanted to be boss in his concerto recordings, thus his tiff with Von Karajan, while Kondrashin, Reiner & Leinsdorf surely led newcomer Van Cliburn to stardom.

For those who are American amazon Prime Music members, if you want to hear Bernstein's complete introduction to the Gould performance, just follow this link:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=gould+bernst ... nb_sb_noss

Gould's conception is quite slow and eccentric IMHO.

That said, here's a list of performances in stereo that I do recommend:

Lars Vogt (conductor & pianist)
Stephen Hough/Wigglesworth
Zimmerman/Rattle
Paul Lewis/Harding
Rubinstein/Reiner (both recordings: 1954 Reiner & 1964 Leinsdorf)
Fleisher/Szell
Van Cliburn/Leinsdorf
Peter Serkin/Shaw (Some copies are still available at inflated prices, but it's sadly OOP.)
Curzon/Szell

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by barney » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:23 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:49 am
barney wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:47 pm
I didn't know that Gould/Bernstein story. It almost beggars belief, a conductor coming on stage before a concert and disavowing the soloist and the performance. But at least Bernstein did let Gould determine the tempi.
Rubinstein/Reiner story is fascinating too. I am sure it happens more often than we know.
Yes, that Gould/Bernstein disagreement has been the stuff of legend since it happened. In fact, a commercial recording of the concert taped by the orchestra was released and continues to be available on CD. It includes the complete opening remarks by Bernstein, where he raises the question in front of the audience, "In a concerto, who's boss?" The answer, of course, is that it depends on the two people involved. IOW, Richter obviously wanted to be boss in his concerto recordings, thus his tiff with Von Karajan, while Kondrashin, Reiner & Leinsdorf surely led newcomer Van Cliburn to stardom.

For those who are American amazon Prime Music members, if you want to hear Bernstein's complete introduction to the Gould performance, just follow this link:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=gould+bernst ... nb_sb_noss

Gould's conception is quite slow and eccentric IMHO.

That said, here's a list of performances in stereo that I do recommend:

Lars Vogt (conductor & pianist)
Stephen Hough/Wigglesworth
Zimmerman/Rattle
Paul Lewis/Harding
Rubinstein/Reiner (both recordings: 1954 Reiner & 1964 Leinsdorf)
Fleisher/Szell
Van Cliburn/Leinsdorf
Peter Serkin/Shaw (Some copies are still available at inflated prices, but it's sadly OOP.)
Curzon/Szell
I'm listening right now on YouTube, and I have to say I am on Bernstein's side. It was a delightful and quite fair speech. What a loss to music communication Bernstein is, along with everything else.
Of your list, I have Zimmerman, both Rubinsteins and Curzon. I thought I had the Van Cliburn, but apparently not. Have you heard the Nelson Freire account of a couple of years ago? That won awards.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:09 am

barney wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:23 pm
maestrob wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:49 am
barney wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:47 pm
I didn't know that Gould/Bernstein story. It almost beggars belief, a conductor coming on stage before a concert and disavowing the soloist and the performance. But at least Bernstein did let Gould determine the tempi.
Rubinstein/Reiner story is fascinating too. I am sure it happens more often than we know.
Yes, that Gould/Bernstein disagreement has been the stuff of legend since it happened. In fact, a commercial recording of the concert taped by the orchestra was released and continues to be available on CD. It includes the complete opening remarks by Bernstein, where he raises the question in front of the audience, "In a concerto, who's boss?" The answer, of course, is that it depends on the two people involved. IOW, Richter obviously wanted to be boss in his concerto recordings, thus his tiff with Von Karajan, while Kondrashin, Reiner & Leinsdorf surely led newcomer Van Cliburn to stardom.

For those who are American amazon Prime Music members, if you want to hear Bernstein's complete introduction to the Gould performance, just follow this link:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=gould+bernst ... nb_sb_noss

Gould's conception is quite slow and eccentric IMHO.

That said, here's a list of performances in stereo that I do recommend:

Lars Vogt (conductor & pianist)
Stephen Hough/Wigglesworth
Zimmerman/Rattle
Paul Lewis/Harding
Rubinstein/Reiner (both recordings: 1954 Reiner & 1964 Leinsdorf)
Fleisher/Szell
Van Cliburn/Leinsdorf
Peter Serkin/Shaw (Some copies are still available at inflated prices, but it's sadly OOP.)
Curzon/Szell
I'm listening right now on YouTube, and I have to say I am on Bernstein's side. It was a delightful and quite fair speech. What a loss to music communication Bernstein is, along with everything else.
Of your list, I have Zimmerman, both Rubinsteins and Curzon. I thought I had the Van Cliburn, but apparently not. Have you heard the Nelson Freire account of a couple of years ago? That won awards.
Indeed, I thought Bernstein bent over backwards to accommodate Gould, and he expresses his disagreement in very clear but good-humored terms to the Carnegie Hall audience. Bernstein was indeed the Great Communicator about music, and I still miss him intensely. I've recently acquired a set of his Youth Concerts on DVD, and his enthusiasm and clarity have never again been matched by anyone!

Do try to acquire the Hough pair of concertos with Mark Wigglesworth: They are on offer from Presto for about $12.00 for 2 CDs. Also, the Lars Vogt set of both concerti, where he conducts from the keyboard, is quite extraordinary. Released on separate discs just last year, the clarity of line in the orchestra is quite extraordinary, and Vogt sounds like he was born to bring out the best in Brahms. The pacing is just right, with not one awkward moment in either recording. I don't know if he could manage that live, but in the studio it sounds perfect to my ears.

The Van Cliburn account is the one I grew up with, and it remains a favorite. I have indeed heard the Chailly/Freire. Freire is a fine pianist, especially when inspired by a greater talent as a partner, such as in his recordings with Martha Argerich. Unfortunately, Chailly is no such partner in the concertos, IMHO. In spite of all the hype involving the release of these recordings, and the ratings on amazon, I dislike them intensely. Chailly's conducting is sloppy, disorganized and very unclear. He's the worst kind of partner for a soloist, in that he seems to have no clear, concise conception of the architecture of the music. Freire therefore sounds weak without the support of the musical tension so necessary in Brahms. These are among my least favorite recordings of the concerti, and I regret the purchase. Just plain sloppy!

By contrast, Chailly's Brahms Symphonies, which have also won praise, sound like computer-generated music. Everything is so stiff and literal! Strictly disciplined, they lack the passion and warmth of Toscanini (or Solti), who was also a strict disciplinarian. Again, I regret the purchase: a total waste of my time!

The surprise winner in Chailly's Brahms output is the Serenades, which were recorded last. Finally, he seems to have the measure of Brahms, and the music sparkles with good humor and warmth.

Glad you found the Bernstein/Gould on youtube. It's probably the most famous disagreement between conductor and soloist, and I find Bernstein's capitulation a fascinating and unique experience.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Handelian » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:37 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:33 am
slofstra wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:51 am
maestrob wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:12 am
Interesting comments about the Richter/Oistrakh/Rostropovich/HvK Beethoven Triple Concerto.Frankly, I've loved that recording ...
I remembered the name of the critic. He's not obscure, but sometimes it's embarrassing what I can't bring to mind.
https://slippedisc.com/2020/01/a-beetho ... in-threes/

I should couch my remarks on the Triple Concerto, versus the remarks on that specific performance of the Tchaikovsky PC1, by saying that it may be that I haven't heard the right performance yet. It's not like I've given the piece a great deal of attention.

It's interesting that Lebrecht also favours Argerich on this piece, but with the Hamburg Symphony and Ion Marin.
Yeah, well!

Try searching CMG for JohnF's comments about Norman Lebrecht before you give him too much credibility. Lebrecht here decides because Richter made a disparaging comment that the whole recording should be panned. What rot! Lebrecht has been found to have been inaccurate on more than one occasion, and his credibility, in my book, is quite low.

I'll stick by my own evaluation, but I will re-investigate the Argerich, which is in my library, but I haven't heard it in a while.
by John F » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:49 amWell regarded? By who? Lebrecht has been practicing a kind of muckraking controversy for its own sake that compels attention, but as you've found out, you can't trust him. One review of "The Maestro Myth" says, and it's entirely justified: "Nearly every page contains some careless blunder or spelling mistake. Too much of 'The Maestro Myth' in fact betrays the sensibility of a tabloid columnist who cannot distinguish between tattle and truth - and worse, doesn`t seem to care."His most recent book, "The Life and Death of Classical Music" (2007), libeled Klaus Heymann, the founder of Naxos Records. Most of Lebrecht's victims just let his comments pass, but not Heymann, who sued him. The publisher settled out of court and agreed to recall unsold copies of the book and other undisclosed penalties. Since then there have been no more Lebrecht books, and no wonder - no publisher with any sense, let alone self-respect, would have anything to do with that kind of author. Nor does any newspaper publish his stuff any longer. Instead he publishes it himself in the blog "Slipped Disc." Quote from that and you'll hear from me. :mrgreen:
Lebrecht loves taking pot shots at Karajan. Bit of the tall poppy syndrome. What he of course forgot was that Richter rubbished practically everything. He said of his fabulous recording of the Brahms2 with Leinsdorf, “I can find nothing good in it.” He even said, “I just don’t like myself.” So Richter’s comments are not to be taken too seriously. Still less anything Lebrecht says.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:12 am

Rach3 wrote:
Your recollection is correct. Richter himself in Monsaingeon's "Notebooks and Conversations":

"The first time we (Richter,Oistrakh,Rostropovich) found ourselves sharing the same platform was in Moscow, for Beethoven's Triple Concerto.It was a good concert.And it clearly was an attractive billing, as we were then invited to record the work with Karajan,with whom each of us had already worked on his own.It's a dreadful recording and I disown it entirely.As for the actual recording sessions, I remember them only as a total nightmare.Battle lines were drawn up with Karajan and Rostropovich on the one side and Oistrakh and me on the other.Rostropovich was falling over himself in his attempts to do everything Karajan wanted,whereas Karajan had a superficial and clearly wrong-headed view of a work that has never had good press but of which I'm personally very fond.Among other things, the second movement was taken far too slowly.He held back the natural flow of the music.He was faking it, and neither Oitrakh nor I had any time for this. But Rostropovich had gone over to the enemy, trying to push himself forward, whereas what he has to play there is no more than figurations.Karajan could see I wasn't happy and that Oistrakh was sulking.He asked why.I was intentionally remaining in the background, not so much to annoy him, but because I found Rostropovich so exasperating.Suddenly Karajan decided that everything was fine and that the recording was finished.I demanded an extra take.'No,no,' he replied,'we haven't got time,we've still to do the photographs.' To him, this was more important than the recording.And what a nauseating photograph it is, with him posing artfully and the rest of us grinning like idiots.(Rach: That photo is on the cover of my lp of the work.).
Richter also panned one of his most successful recordings of all time, the Brahms Piano Concerto II with Leinsdorf/Chicago. In fact, the second movement was done brilliantly in just one take!

From the same source:

Bruno Monsaingeon, Sviatoslav Richter – Notebooks and Conversations, p. 108 ("There was also the recording of Brahms's Second Concerto with Erich Leinsdorf, one of my worst records, even though people still praise it to the skies. I can't bear it.")

Good grief! :mrgreen:

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:23 am

maestrob wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:12 am
Rach3 wrote:

Richter also panned one of his most successful recordings of all time, the Brahms Piano Concerto II with Leinsdorf/Chicago. In fact, the second movement was done brilliantly in just one take!

From the same source:

Bruno Monsaingeon, Sviatoslav Richter – Notebooks and Conversations, p. 108 ("There was also the recording of Brahms's Second Concerto with Erich Leinsdorf, one of my worst records, even though people still praise it to the skies. I can't bear it.")

Good grief! :mrgreen:
Here's the thing. Never paint your own house if you're even a tiny bit of a perfectionist. The least blemish or jaggedy line, something no one else would notice, will be the first thing you see when you walk into a room.
So Richter would be the last person to consult on his own performances.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:03 pm

slofstra wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:23 am
maestrob wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:12 am
Rach3 wrote:

Richter also panned one of his most successful recordings of all time, the Brahms Piano Concerto II with Leinsdorf/Chicago. In fact, the second movement was done brilliantly in just one take!

From the same source:

Bruno Monsaingeon, Sviatoslav Richter – Notebooks and Conversations, p. 108 ("There was also the recording of Brahms's Second Concerto with Erich Leinsdorf, one of my worst records, even though people still praise it to the skies. I can't bear it.")

Good grief! :mrgreen:
Here's the thing. Never paint your own house if you're even a tiny bit of a perfectionist. The least blemish or jaggedy line, something no one else would notice, will be the first thing you see when you walk into a room.
So Richter would be the last person to consult on his own performances.
Yes, well, I've got pretty good ears and have studied that score, and the Richter/Leinsdorf recording of Brahms Second Piano Concerto is the closest to a perfect performance of that work that I've ever heard or could imagine. there are others that are very fine, but Richter's electricity, nuance, and command of the music (with Leinsdorf's disciplined support, of course) have not yet been surpassed in my view.

Richter seems to have had a "thing" about working with a strong-willed conductor that he could not dominate. Perhaps that is the root cause of his dissatisfaction. Who knows? The results speak for themselves, don't they?

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Handelian » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:35 am

slofstra wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm
Those are interesting responses. When I don't like something, and the performers are top-tier, then I always wonder if it's just me, which I'm perfectly okay with, or if the issue is more general.
So it would seem to be more general.
The Triple Concerto with Hvk, with Rostoprovich, Oistrakh and Richter, was roundly criticized by a famous critic, whose name escapes me at the moment.
But I've never liked the piece all that much, by anyone.
It's down there with Wellington's Victory. :)
It was Lebrecht I believe who was so snotty about it. But then who takes much notice of what he says. I know Richter wasn’t happy with it at all but then he wasn’t happy with anything, he once said of his famous recording of the Brahms 2 with Leinsdorf, “I can find nothing good about it.” A difficult man to please

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:15 am

maestrob wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:03 pm
slofstra wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:23 am
maestrob wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:12 am
Rach3 wrote:

Richter also panned one of his most successful recordings of all time, the Brahms Piano Concerto II with Leinsdorf/Chicago. In fact, the second movement was done brilliantly in just one take!

From the same source:

Bruno Monsaingeon, Sviatoslav Richter – Notebooks and Conversations, p. 108 ("There was also the recording of Brahms's Second Concerto with Erich Leinsdorf, one of my worst records, even though people still praise it to the skies. I can't bear it.")

Good grief! :mrgreen:
Here's the thing. Never paint your own house if you're even a tiny bit of a perfectionist. The least blemish or jaggedy line, something no one else would notice, will be the first thing you see when you walk into a room.
So Richter would be the last person to consult on his own performances.
Yes, well, I've got pretty good ears and have studied that score, and the Richter/Leinsdorf recording of Brahms Second Piano Concerto is the closest to a perfect performance of that work that I've ever heard or could imagine. there are others that are very fine, but Richter's electricity, nuance, and command of the music (with Leinsdorf's disciplined support, of course) have not yet been surpassed in my view.

Richter seems to have had a "thing" about working with a strong-willed conductor that he could not dominate. Perhaps that is the root cause of his dissatisfaction. Who knows? The results speak for themselves, don't they?
Perhaps he was unhappy with the cello. :)
Not to take away anything from your comments, but I am leery of attributing a professional and earnest musician's comments about a performance to a personality difference. I mean, Richter was involved with the publication of these notes.
So I had to look it up.
The key problem seems to be the tempo of the final movement, which Richter believes is taken too fast by Leinsdorf (page 108). Gee, where have we seen conductor/ performer differences over tempo, before?
As a side note, Richter lambasts the Paris Orchestra in another performance of Brahms' Second PC, calling them "third rate". "They all fancy themselves as soloists and constantly press ahead without paying the least attention to the conductor", Richter writes (page 169-70). But, and this is the kicker, he adds, "[this recording] is still better than the one with Leinsdorf." Okay, I'm laughing out loud here. Note once again though, that the primary problem is tempo.
Later this weekend I'm going to pull this recording and compare it with another favourite, and now I am sure you will laugh, with Emanuel Ax and Bernard Haitink conducting.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:35 am

Handelian wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:35 am
slofstra wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm
Those are interesting responses. When I don't like something, and the performers are top-tier, then I always wonder if it's just me, which I'm perfectly okay with, or if the issue is more general.
So it would seem to be more general.
The Triple Concerto with Hvk, with Rostoprovich, Oistrakh and Richter, was roundly criticized by a famous critic, whose name escapes me at the moment.
But I've never liked the piece all that much, by anyone.
It's down there with Wellington's Victory. :)
It was Lebrecht I believe who was so snotty about it. But then who takes much notice of what he says. I know Richter wasn’t happy with it at all but then he wasn’t happy with anything, he once said of his famous recording of the Brahms 2 with Leinsdorf, “I can find nothing good about it.” A difficult man to please
No one seems to like Lebrecht, but everyone talks about him. Might this be strategic on his part? I actually do have his book, I recently noticed, unread on the shelf. But all this has just renewed my interest, enough to think about reading it in any case.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:30 am

slofstra wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:15 am
maestrob wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:03 pm
slofstra wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:23 am
maestrob wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:12 am
Rach3 wrote:

Richter also panned one of his most successful recordings of all time, the Brahms Piano Concerto II with Leinsdorf/Chicago. In fact, the second movement was done brilliantly in just one take!

From the same source:

Bruno Monsaingeon, Sviatoslav Richter – Notebooks and Conversations, p. 108 ("There was also the recording of Brahms's Second Concerto with Erich Leinsdorf, one of my worst records, even though people still praise it to the skies. I can't bear it.")

Good grief! :mrgreen:
Here's the thing. Never paint your own house if you're even a tiny bit of a perfectionist. The least blemish or jaggedy line, something no one else would notice, will be the first thing you see when you walk into a room.
So Richter would be the last person to consult on his own performances.
Yes, well, I've got pretty good ears and have studied that score, and the Richter/Leinsdorf recording of Brahms Second Piano Concerto is the closest to a perfect performance of that work that I've ever heard or could imagine. there are others that are very fine, but Richter's electricity, nuance, and command of the music (with Leinsdorf's disciplined support, of course) have not yet been surpassed in my view.

Richter seems to have had a "thing" about working with a strong-willed conductor that he could not dominate. Perhaps that is the root cause of his dissatisfaction. Who knows? The results speak for themselves, don't they?
Perhaps he was unhappy with the cello. :)
Not to take away anything from your comments, but I am leery of attributing a professional and earnest musician's comments about a performance to a personality difference. I mean, Richter was involved with the publication of these notes.
So I had to look it up.
The key problem seems to be the tempo of the final movement, which Richter believes is taken too fast by Leinsdorf (page 108). Gee, where have we seen conductor/ performer differences over tempo, before?
As a side note, Richter lambasts the Paris Orchestra in another performance of Brahms' Second PC, calling them "third rate". "They all fancy themselves as soloists and constantly press ahead without paying the least attention to the conductor", Richter writes (page 169-70). But, and this is the kicker, he adds, "[this recording] is still better than the one with Leinsdorf." Okay, I'm laughing out loud here. Note once again though, that the primary problem is tempo.
Later this weekend I'm going to pull this recording and compare it with another favourite, and now I am sure you will laugh, with Emanuel Ax and Bernard Haitink conducting.
I'll have to listen to that one as well soon. I like Ax very much, but he's no match for Richter in my book. :wink:

Do also try to stream if you can the recent recordings with Stephen Hough, Hamelin, and Lars Vogt, the latter also conducting from the keyboard. I admire them all.

I have thought for quite a while that Richter was, on occasion, not the best judge of tempo. Some of his live Schubert is quite a bit too slow for my taste, for instance. But, frankly, that only happens rarely. I really think that Richter just had a quirk in his personality that reacted negatively to being dominated by a strong-willed conductor, something that I occasionally encountered in my work with singers. It's just a fact of music-making, and an inevitable clash of tastes.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by barney » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:58 am

slofstra wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:35 am
Handelian wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:35 am
slofstra wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:55 pm
Those are interesting responses. When I don't like something, and the performers are top-tier, then I always wonder if it's just me, which I'm perfectly okay with, or if the issue is more general.
So it would seem to be more general.
The Triple Concerto with Hvk, with Rostoprovich, Oistrakh and Richter, was roundly criticized by a famous critic, whose name escapes me at the moment.
But I've never liked the piece all that much, by anyone.
It's down there with Wellington's Victory. :)
It was Lebrecht I believe who was so snotty about it. But then who takes much notice of what he says. I know Richter wasn’t happy with it at all but then he wasn’t happy with anything, he once said of his famous recording of the Brahms 2 with Leinsdorf, “I can find nothing good about it.” A difficult man to please
No one seems to like Lebrecht, but everyone talks about him. Might this be strategic on his part? I actually do have his book, I recently noticed, unread on the shelf. But all this has just renewed my interest, enough to think about reading it in any case.
Not me. I like Lebrecht a lot. He's gossipy and entertaining. He's been criticised for too often writing the obituary of classical music, or at least recording, and I think that criticism is just. When you say you have his book, which one? I have half a dozen.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:35 pm

The life and death of classical music.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by barney » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:46 pm

Yep, got that. The one I read most recently was his very readable book on Mahler.

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Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by Lance » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:47 pm

In one of his posts, Henry Slofstra made mention of the Tchaikovsky symphonies and his liking of Ormandy's recordings. For me, once I heard either the mono or stereo set of the Symphonies 4, 5 and 6, as performed by the Leningrad Symphony under Yevgeny Mravinsky (both on DGG), there were very few others would make that music as real to me as did Mravinsky. Fortunately, we have many recordings of all of Tchaikovsky's symphonies and we can all have our cake and eat it too! My other favorite Tchaikovsky is the Symphony No. 2 ["Little Russian,"] and also "Winter Dreams," No. 1.
Lance G. Hill
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rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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maestrob
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Four concertoes played by Richter

Post by maestrob » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:44 am

Lance wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:47 pm
In one of his posts, Henry Slofstra made mention of the Tchaikovsky symphonies and his liking of Ormandy's recordings. For me, once I heard either the mono or stereo set of the Symphonies 4, 5 and 6, as performed by the Leningrad Symphony under Yevgeny Mravinsky (both on DGG), there were very few others would make that music as real to me as did Mravinsky. Fortunately, we have many recordings of all of Tchaikovsky's symphonies and we can all have our cake and eat it too! My other favorite Tchaikovsky is the Symphony No. 2 ["Little Russian,"] and also "Winter Dreams," No. 1.
Good morning, Lance. :D

I grew up hearing Ormandy's Tchaikovsky, both in mono (on 78RPM and LP) & stereo, as well as live at the (now no longer used) Academy Of Music on Broad Street in Philadelphia, right next to where I studied voice in high school. Of course I was loyal to Ormandy's fine interpretations, but had a remarkable conversion to Mravinsky's IV & V when I later finally acquired the DGG set of CDs in about 1985. Mravinsky's VI put me off, though, because he insisted on extreme rubato and tempo changes that were not in the score, which Toscanini and Ormandy adhered to quite successfully. I still go to Ormandy for VI, but think that Mravinsky's Leningrad orchestra was better recorded in IV & V. The remastered sound on DGG's CDs is extraordinary.

That said, you recommended Mariss Jansson's recent complete box, which I have bought but not opened yet. I'm still looking forward to hearing that.

And yes, I do admire the Second Symphony. I first heard that on an Angel/Melodiya LP by Svetlanov in my teens (which I sadly never replaced on CD), and it's jovial tunes have stayed with me ever since.

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