Sviatoslav Richter

Sergei Rachmaninov: Etudes-Tableaux; Preludes

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This disc has two strikes against it. It's a reissue and it's a mash-up of excerpts from various collections of short pieces, which means that the composer's original intentions are violated. But those two strikes hardly matter when the performer hits a home run with every piece. Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, through the sheer strength of his virtuosity, sensitivity, intensity, and poetry transforms this disparate collection of Rachmaninov's Études-tableaux, Opp. 33 and 39, and his Preludes, Opp. 23 and 32, into a cogent and compelling artistic statement. Though the works are out of order -- the opening three Études-tableaux from Op. 33, for example, are performed first (No. 9, No. 5, and then No. 6) -- Richter lets each one shine individually, and joins them together to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts. The same could be said for all the performances here; both separately and collectively, they are worlds ahead of those by virtually any other pianist who has ever taken on these tremendously difficult and extravagantly expressive pieces. Recorded in vivid digital sound (the Études-tableaux in 1984) and warm stereo sound (the Preludes in 1971), these incandescent performances should be heard by anyone interested in Rachmaninov or great piano playing, unless they can't stand excerpts.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Études-tableaux for piano, Op. 33
1 Sviatoslav Richter 02:43 Amazon
2 Sviatoslav Richter 02:57 Amazon
3 Sviatoslav Richter 01:45 Amazon
Études-tableaux for piano, Op. 39
4 Sviatoslav Richter 02:59 Amazon
5 Sviatoslav Richter 07:05 Amazon
6 Sviatoslav Richter 02:52 Amazon
7 Sviatoslav Richter 03:40 Amazon
8 Sviatoslav Richter 03:47 Amazon
9 Sviatoslav Richter 07:04 Amazon
Six Preludes from Op. 23
10 Sviatoslav Richter 04:01 Amazon
11 Sviatoslav Richter 03:28 Amazon
12 Sviatoslav Richter 04:14 Amazon
13 Sviatoslav Richter 03:48 Amazon
14 Sviatoslav Richter 02:27 Amazon
15 Sviatoslav Richter 03:12 Amazon
Seven Preludes from Op. 32
16 Sviatoslav Richter 01:16 Amazon
17 Sviatoslav Richter 03:06 Amazon
18 Sviatoslav Richter 01:23 Amazon
19 Sviatoslav Richter 02:13 Amazon
20 Sviatoslav Richter 02:37 Amazon
21 Sviatoslav Richter 05:24 Amazon
22 Sviatoslav Richter 02:23 Amazon
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