Svi­atoslav Richter (pi­ano) Decca 475 8652 (2 CDs)

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - MICHAEL DER­VAN

Decca’s Richter the Mas­ter se­ries here goes be­yond its trawl of Philips’s 1994 Au­tho­rised Record­ings set to per­for­mances taped at the Yamaha Cen­tre in Vi­enna in 1989. It’s an idio­syn­cratic se­lec­tion of mu­sic by 20th-cen­tury masters, Prokofiev (the Sec­ond Sonata), Stravin­sky, Shostakovich, We­bern (the Vari­a­tions Op 27), Bartók ( Three Bur­lesques), Szy­manowski, and Hin­demith (the 1922 Suite), recorded in a life-like but dis­tant per­spec­tive that al­lows the cap­ture of au­di­ence noises. The play­ing presents Richter at his most for­mi­da­bly granitic – im­pos­ing, strangely time­less, all flavour, com­pletely with­out frills or wastage of pre­sen­ta­tion, all con­tent, no dis­trac­tions. The rag­time finale of Hin­demith’s bru­tally icon­o­clas­tic suite has all the ma­chine-like im­pla­ca­bil­ity the com­poser re­quested, and more. As­ton­ish­ing stuff. www.dec­ca­clas­

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