This recording of the 1993 Schwetzingen Festival has already achieved cult status. The then 78-year-old Sviatoslav Richter plays for the first and last time in public Gershwin’s jazzy “Concerto in F”. Gershwin’s works had always been suspect under the Soviet regime. All the more surprising was Richter’s decision to perform this work in his maturity. Needless to say, Richter never made a formal, studio recording of this work. It is not only a unique recording, but also a document of Richter’s expansive interest in all musical repertoires than came under his purview.
The Fifth Piano Concerto by Camille Saint-Saëns was eclipsed by the same composer’s more popular “Second” Concerto throughout Richter’s performing career. With the exception for one Melodyia LP, he never again recorded this work and there is no record that he ever again performed it internationally.
With this concert, there can be no dispute that we are dealing with a program of real rarity. To sum up, this CD not only for admirers of this great pianist, but is an exciting contemporary document of a great musicians artistic preoccupations late in his career. (source: arkivmusic.com)
Sviatoslav Richter, piano
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921)
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.5 in F-Major, Op.103 (Egyptian)
I. Allegro animato
II. Andante – Allegretto tranquillo – Andante
III. Molto Allegro
GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra
II. Andante con moto
III. Allegro agitato
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