Thursday, October 27

Richter on Rachmaninoff's Prelude

I often read parts of Sviatoslav Richter's diaries (from "Richter the enigma") - and whenever I do, I always find interesting things. Today, I read an entry made in 31.1.1977, about Rachmaninoff's F sharp minor Prelude - one of my favorite. I copy: "R's F sharp minor Prelude is a sombre and poetical piece. Neuhaus thought it was the best of the whole collection. In it you feel the freshness of a Russian evening beside a pond from which mist rises up. Levitanian atmosphere.

The problem with this piece (as is the case, sadly, with many others - including the G minor prelude) is that it has "suffered" dozens of mediocre performances; I wonder if Richter himslelf has played it, I would be very interested to listen him depicting in sound the image that so beautifully describes above. 

I personally am very fond of Sokolov's live recording of the piece. It manages to set and convey the right atmosphere.

No comments: