While there have been perhaps hundreds of recordings of the Grieg piano concerto, nearly as many of Schumann's concerto, and dozens of recordings of Schumann's Papillons, there have never been better performances of any of the works on this disc than these by Sviatoslav Richter. His combination of strength and delicacy, of force and tenderness in the Grieg concerto has never been equaled.
From the crashing chords of the opening through to the ethereal melodic heights of the close, Richter not only makes the piece sound like the best piece Grieg ever wrote, he makes it sound like a better piece than Grieg ever wrote. And his Schumann concerto is even better: powerful and whimsical, dramatic and epic, strong-willed and soft-hearted, it is ideal Schumann playing. Lovro von Matacic is a muscular and sympathetic accompanist, and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra plays more than adequately if less than splendidly. The live recording of Schumann's Papillons is exquisitely beautiful and warmly poetic.
|Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16|
|I. Allegro molto moderato||Sviatoslav Richter||12:41|
|II. Adagio -||Sviatoslav Richter||6:10|
|III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato||Sviatoslav Richter||9:58|
|Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54|
|I. Allegro affettuoso - Andante espressivo - Allegro molto||Sviatoslav Richter||14:40|
|II. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)||Sviatoslav Richter||5:06|
|III. Allegro vivace||Sviatoslav Richter||10:30|
|Papillons (Butterflies) for piano, Op. 2||Sviatoslav Richter||14:38|