Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat; Piano Concerto No. 2 in A; Piano Sonata in B minor

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Liszt
LABELS: Philips Solo
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat; Piano Concerto No. 2 in A; Piano Sonata in B minor
PERFORMER: Sviatoslav Richter (piano)LSO/Kirill Kondrashin
CATALOGUE NO: 446 200-2 ADD(1961/94)
Liszt’s piano concertos and B minor Sonata form a deservedly popular, and entirely logical coupling. Richter’s credentials were, alas, little boosted by this recording, made by Mercury Records under licence to Philips in 1961, and engineered using their innovative three-track 35mm technology. This is Richter in fraudulently cavalier mood, his performances superficially gripping but insufferably mannered and musically sterile, although the recorded sound is undeniably impressive. Whilst the B minor Sonata is at least tolerable, the concertos sound vulgar, overblown and monotonous. Kondrashin, incidentally, partnered Byron Janis in the historic Mercury Living Presence version (also available on CD) of the Liszt concertos, made in Moscow in 1962; of the two, this is the Mercury production to choose. Michael Jameson

Advertisement