Reposted, now with FF links
Karajan’s rare collaborations with Soviet musicians in the 1960s resulted in exceptional recordings that have become classics – including the one presented here: “a performance of astonishing intimacy and refinement” from Richter in Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto (October 1962)
# Composer: Peter Tchaikowsky
# Performer: Sviatoslav Richter
# Orchestra: Vienna Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
# Vinyl (1963)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
# DR-Analysis: DR 15
# ASIN CD: B000W99IIY
# Size: 350 MB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
Critics and music lovers have been casting aspersions on this recording which I find difficult to understand. My impression is, that many if not all those writers seem to be of the view that Tchaikovsky has to be performed one way – as a virtuoso show piece – and that’s it. On the contrary, what I found so immensely impressive on my first encounter with Richter & Karajan was their evident determination to treat this concerto as a WORK OF ART. This does not mean repressing its showiness, but rather adding a dimension of seriousness that Tchaikovsky himself, for one, would not have dismissed! So this recording has grandeur as well as colour, and it is still (despite its age) one of the best-recorded of all, in terms of sheer beauty of sound.
Richter tended rather too much to complain about conductors. Karajan was too slow for him here; but when Richter recorded Brahms with Leinsdorf in Chicago, the conductor was too fast. This is nonsense each time. The man who set the tempo for both was none other than the pianist himself. In both concertos the pianist is in the spotlight after the introduction and sets the tempo for the rest! So Karajan and Leinsdorf each followed their man!
In any case, bear a few other little facts in mind. The world premiere of this concerto was given by Hans von Bülow, a German pianist in as Germanic a mould as they come; but Tchaikovsky was delighted when he heard the man himself. Richter has (at least one) German parent, so that the hype about his Russianness looks a bit silly. I doubt he could have been forced against his will into this “Germanic” rendition of the Tchaikovsky concerto. In any case, the best comparison (apropos Russianness) is offered by Gilels, who lunges into the work like a tiger. Of his two stereo recordings, the one with Reiner is obviously preferable and it is a magnificent reading, though totally in another character to what Richter/Karajan offer here.
So my last word comes back to the beginning: if you can’t wear Tchaikovsky being handled as if the concerto was actually great art, then stay away from this. But if you love the music, then you owe it to yourself to have it in your collection, if only as one of the rare counterweights to the dozens of recordings where the music is treated as nothing better than a ballet for keyboard instead of dancers.
Analyzed folder: /96kTch_PP1_Rich/96k Tchaikowsky – Piano Concerto No. 1 – Richter
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR14 -2.26 dB -21.45 dB A First Movement Allegro Non Troppo E Molto Maestoso.wav
DR19 -5.01 dB -33.24 dB B1 Second Movement Andantino Semplice.wav
DR12 -1.48 dB -19.02 dB B2 Third Movement Allegro Con Fuoco.wav
Number of files: 3
Official DR value: DR15
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- System: Limited Edition Denon DL 103 SA
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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