Thread: More Richter SACDs... A new "Richter Edition" from Praga

Posts: 10

Post by Polarius T April 18, 2012 (1 of 10)
Looks like they are launching a new "Richter Edition" on SACD to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Praga Digitals:

Releases announced thus far:

(1) Rachmaninov, Piano Concertos 1 & 2 with Sanderling, Preludes (selection):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rachmaninov-Piano-Concertos-Preludes-Op-23/dp/B007CMTNHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1334751887&sr=1-1

The catalog no. is PRD DSD 350056 and the recordings included are:

Concerto for Piano no. 1 in f sharp minor, opus 1, revised version of 1917, with Kurt Sanderling, USSR Radio & TV Large Symphony (Moscow, 18 Feb 1955);
Concerto for Piano no. 2 in c minor, opus 18 ◦ with Kurt Sanderling, Leningrad Philharmonic (Leningrad, 18 Feb 1959).
(courtesy http://www.trovar.com/str/discs/index.html)
Not sure of the Preludes, but the Amazon.co.uk disc description indicates that they date from his 1960 US tour.

Sound clips at http://store.harmoniamundi.com/piano-concertos-1-2-preludes.html.

(2) Grieg & Dvorak Piano Concertos, with Kondrashin (Grieg) and Smetacek (Dvorak):

http://www.amazon.fr/Concerto-Pour-Piano-Op-16-Op-33/dp/B007RYSWHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1334754307&sr=1-1 as well as http://www.amazon.de/Klavierkonzert-Moscow-Svjatoslav-Richter-Klavier/dp/B007RYSWHA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1334754484&sr=1-1

Not a lot of information available on this yet, even on Praga's own site, but the recordings, I'd think, must be:

Grieg, Concerto for Piano in a, opus 16, with Kirill Kondrashin, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (23 March 1964);
Dvorak, Concerto for Piano in g, opus 33, B 63, with Vaclav Smetacek, Prague Symphony Orchestra (Prague, 2 June 1966)
(source as above)

The Dvorak you can watch (rather than "listen" as the 'tube sound is pretty horrible) live at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWmHhHO--A8 (thanks sunnydaler).

* * *

The sound quality won't compete with his later stereo takes for DG & EMI, but the playing here is something very special (on Richter's part at least). I haven't heard the Kondrashin Grieg before.

Post by sunnydaler April 18, 2012 (2 of 10)

Post by lennyw April 18, 2012 (3 of 10)
I have the original Praga box, and the sound is at best average. Not sure what they can do to improve and make use of SACD. Sounds more like a marketing gimmick, than an honest attempt to make improvements.

[EDIT] Sorry, looks like these are Melodiyas rather than from the Prague Radio archives. Not sure that changes my stance on them (despite being a huge Richter fan).

Post by Polarius T April 18, 2012 (4 of 10)
lennyw said:

I have the original Praga box, and the sound is at best average. Not sure what they can do to improve and make use of SACD. Sounds more like a marketing gimmick, than an honest attempt to make improvements.

[EDIT] Sorry, looks like these are Melodiyas rather than from the Prague Radio archives. Not sure that changes my stance on them (despite being a huge Richter fan).

The Grieg/Dvorak disc has been released earlier by Praga on RBCD (if these are indeed what I believe them to be) as part of that big Richter box (and separately), there you are right; and the sound was indeed just so-so. But have you heard the newer remasters (all from the past few years) of these Praga box tapes? All significantly improved, which makes me look expectantly forward to these, too. I think the original job wasn't too great, so it's been relatively easy to improve on the sound quality with all the accumulated know-how and improved skills & technology from the intervening years.

Not sure of the derivation of those four Preludes.

Whereas (and there again you are right) the Rachs are indeed Melodiyas (though released variously on several labels in Europe and Japan over the years, too: see http://www.trovar.com/str/discs/rach.html -- the site is badly out of date but gives you an idea).

And, of all the attempts at improving the sound quality of any of these, the BMG/Melodiya Japan remasters, though by no means new or even recent any more, are still clearly the most successful, which again goes to show that different remastering jobs and different remastering engineers can give noticeably different results.

At any rate, these new Richter SACDs are priced most competitively, at redbook-CD budget-issue level (under 10 euros/disc from amazon.fr).

Post by nickc April 18, 2012 (5 of 10)
Mono recordings:
"I was starting from monaural broadcast tapes copies emulated by DSD processing. Results: lower noise, near original bandwith and dynamics, less inter-modulation distortion, keyboard very stable and not too large. Comparing with the old RCA or Chant du Monde CD/PCM, this new release come back to the original public performance tapes in terms of rumble (50 Hz), but clear picture, mainly for the soloist." Pierre Barbier, Praga Digitals
Anyway now available for pre-order!
N

Post by current93 April 18, 2012 (6 of 10)
Are you sure these are SACDs? I couldn't find any confirmation of edition in SACD format in Praga press-release. Index PRD/DSD 350 XXX is generally reserved for RBCDs, PRD/DSD 250 XXX - for SACDs.

Post by Claude April 19, 2012 (7 of 10)
The back cover of the Rachmaninov disc is available on Amazon UK (link above), it has the SACD logo.

Post by sunnydaler April 19, 2012 (8 of 10)

Post by lennyw April 19, 2012 (9 of 10)
Polarius T said:

The Grieg/Dvorak disc...

Thanks for the info, which makes me more tempted (especially, as you say, from the price point). Although limited, I'll probably wait to see how the discs are reviewed here before taking the plunge...

Post by lennyw June 10, 2012 (10 of 10)
Has anyone heard/got these yet?
Thoughts?

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