Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Parnassus Records

Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Parnassus Records

Article excerpt

The day Parnassus Records closed its used record business in September 2008 was a sad day for record collectors. Fortunately, Parnassus continues to produce and sell CDs and DVDs on its own label, with two of the latest continuing their series devoted to pianist Sviatoslav Richter. Richter in Leipzig is devoted to the complete recital of 28 Nov. 1963, the feature works being the last three Beethoven Sonatas (PACD 493, www.parnassusrecords. com). Though not short on introspection, Richter offers large-scale performances that reveal his understanding of the musical architecture and practically unrivalled technical command. These are among the finest performances of the late Beethoven Sonatas that one is likely to hear. The recital also included Brahms' Intermezzi in E-flat, Op. 118, No. 6 and C, Op. 119, No. 3, plus a surprisingly brisk performance of the Ballade in G-minor, Op. 118, No. 3. In Chopin's Nocturne in F, Op. 15, No. 1 the mercurial Richter offers an introverted lyricism in the "A" section contrasted with volatility in the "B" section of the work. The recording is clean enough, but the bright, close perspective doesn't flatter the out-of-tune piano.

Parnassus has also issued Volume 5 in their series Sviatoslav Richter in the 1950s (PACD 96017-8, 2 CDs). Richter's performance of Schubert's Sonata in B-flat, D. 960 from May 1957 is introspective, with a broadly expansive first movement (though not as slow as some of his later performances of this work). His performance of Debussy's La Danse de Puck, from the Preludes, Book 1, from Oct. 1958, shows his abilities as a colorist. Szymanowski's rarely heard Sonata No. …

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