Richter Plays Haydn And Mozart

Review by: Jed Distler

81hHAsAIOUS._SS500

Artistic Quality: 7

Sound Quality: 8

Sviatoslav Richter’s endless discography expands yet again with these previously unpublished performances. The Haydn items stem from Richter’s February 22, 1992 recital at the Abbaye Notre Dame de Fidélité in Jouques, France. The Mozart C minor Fantasia and Sonata performances come from a program played in Zug, Switzerland on October 2, 1991.

Richter interprets the Haydn Variations in a straightforward and graceful manner, with supple fingerwork and occasionally emphatic downbeat accents. Compared to a live Moscow 1960 recording, Richter’s 1992 Haydn C minor sonata is broader and more reserved, yet sufficiently nuanced.

Austerity and lack of artifice similarly characterize Richter’s Mozart. Stradivarius previously issued Richter’s March 1990 performance of the K. 457 sonata from Jouques, where the outer movement’s runs and roulades seem marginally less effortful and more fluid than the present traversal. The Adagio finds Richter’s wonderful legato operating on cruise control, whereas his tone opens up and sings out more vibrantly in a live Philips recording of the same work dating from just a few weeks later. If this disc didn’t exist, you wouldn’t miss it, but at least the Haydn selections are worth hearing.



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None

  • Sviatoslav Richter (piano)

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