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Discussion: Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No. 17 "Tempest", 18 & 23 "Appassionata" - Richter

Posts: 2

Post by Polarius T December 12, 2013 (1 of 2)
"This, quite simply, is a treasure." Indeed, except that, at least in my copy, the Appassionata isn't the live Prague one from November 1959 as claimed, but the November 1960 one recorded at Webster Hall, NYC (already released on SACD by Sony on Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 23, 12, 22, Piano Concerto No. 1 - Richter, Munch, in superior sonics). The much more fiery and "passionate" Prague performance you can find (remastered) on Supraphon SU 4045-2. It's quite different and really more worth having, for those who don't mind mono sound.

Typical sloppiness from Praga editors and/or AR people. Absolutely no reason not to have included the '59 live Prague taping since Praga still owns the rights to it (AFAIK) and it's the better one of the two.

The rest of this Praga release is fine and a must for all Beethoven and piano lovers. But if you really want to hear what possibilities the Appassionata contains within itself, you have to go even further and hear Richter's Moscow 1960 live recording of it. Earth-shattering, apocalyptic stuff.

Post by ramesh December 14, 2013 (2 of 2)
I'm not sure which is the 1960 Moscow performance, but many years ago I had a BMG/Melodiya CD of Richter in the Appassionata and the Pathetique [ I think ] from about this time. Supremely intense performances, but the sound quality was harsh.