This is the largest, most comprehensive, and most valuable collection currently available of the playing of one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Czech Radio seems to have recorded virtually everything Richter played during his frequent visits to Prague during a period of 34 years. Many of the highlights of the pianist's vast repertoire are included here, including 10 Beethoven Sonatas, two Concertos, and the "Diabelli" Variations, along with major works of Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, and Scriabin.
This compilation features recordings made between 1950 and 1958 and “accompanies” the legendary pianist on his way to the Mount Olympus of piano playing. The repertoire ranges from Johann Sebastian Bach over German classicism and romanticism (Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann) to that gathering of great Russian composers – Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.
Sony Classcial celebrates the art of Sviatoslav Richter (1995-1997) – one of the 20th century’s greatest pianists – with the first-ever release of his complete Columbia Masterworks and RCA Victor live and studio recordings in an 18 CD original jacket edition, underneath Richter’s legendary five October 1960 Carnegie Hall recitals.
From the notes: "The younger Richter was perhaps even more of a virtuoso that the more mature artist. Hearing these early recordings, we may feel that in this decade he was more willing to dazzle audiences with his facility. … Richter's Schumann has long been noted as one of his best composers. In the Humoresque, the only Richter live performance so far published, Richter identifies completely with the unique atmosphere of this stream-of-consciousness music, in which ideas sometimes appear by simply pushing other music aside." Notes by Leslie Gerber [also the Producer]
As a composer of orchestral music, Alexander Scriabin is best known for his last two idiosyncratic symphonies, the Poem of Ecstasy and Prometheus: The Poem of Fire, which are essentially symphonic poems, not symphonies in the conventional sense. The Symphony No. 1 (1900) and the Symphony No. 2 (1901), however, are more recognizable as symphonies in their multiple-movement forms, and their durations are comparable to the expansive symphonies of Scriabin's contemporary, Gustav Mahler. They also share the post-Romantic tendency toward Wagnerian harmonies, rhapsodic melodies, and lush orchestration, which, in Scriabin's case, were developed to express heightened emotional states and mystical transcendence. This 2016 double SACD by Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra presents each of the symphonies on its own disc, and the high-quality multichannel sound is ideal for bringing across the subtle nuances of tone color and the shifting of dynamics that are characteristic of his style.]
In this first volume of Alexander Scriabin's symphonies on the LSO Live label, Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra begin in media res with the Symphony No. 3, "Le Divin Poème," and the Le Poème de l'extase, which is unofficially counted as the Symphony No. 4. These works date from Scriabin's middle period (ca. 1902-1908), which marks a transition from his youthful Romantic phase to his final visionary works. The Symphony No. 3 reflects a lingering attachment to the symphonic conventions which influenced Scriabin's first two symphonies, particularly in its three-movement structure and relatively clear tonal scheme, though it already hints at the organic development and greater harmonic complexity of the single-movement Le Poème de l'extase, which strains the boundaries of form and key. These effusive works demand a calculated control that may seem at odds with their volatile and languorous expressions, though Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra deliver the music with rhythmic precision and focused tone colors to bring across Scriabin's kaleidoscopic soundworld with brilliance.