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Debussy: Suite Bergamasque; Preludes, Book 2

Debussy / Richter
Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  Melodiya   Catalog #: 1001622   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As the cover indicates, these live archival Debussy recordings with Sviatoslav Richter from the Moscow Conservatory Great Hall appear for the first time on a commercial CD release. The one exception is La vent dans la plaine (Préludes Book 1, No. 3), which was played as an encore at the October 10, 1976 recital and previously released by Music & Arts, Nippon, and Seven Seas. Suite bergamasque stems from the June 5, 1979 concert. Here Richter’s purity of line and translucent textures suggest a classical reserve that contrasts to the warmer, relatively “Romantic” (though poorly engineered) October 1960 Carnegie Hall version. In this regard the interpretation is akin to Richter’s fuller-sounding August 1977 Salzburg Festival Read more performance on Orfeo, but the Moscow Claire de lune receives an altogether slower and more studied treatment.

Recorded in 1961 (no day or month is given), the Préludes Book 1 Nos. 1, 9, and 11 differ little from their similarly shimmering and supple July 10, 1961 Royal Festival Hall counterparts. The May 26, 1967 Préludes Book 2 compare favorably to the four previously published Richter Book 2 cycles, if one prefers a closer, more detailed recording quality that contrasts to the more diffuse and “impressionistic” Maltings, Snape pickup (June 16, 1967). I personally prefer the acoustic ambience of Richter’s June 14, 1967 Spoleto version, complete with village bells peeling off in the distance during the first piece, although here, La Puerta del Vino’s lack of rhythmic verve yields to the fleeter, brusquer Moscow reading. Still, Richter’s pinpointed response to Debussy’s mood changes and harmonic subtleties come through. In short, this is as good a disc as any to acquaint yourself with Richter’s Debussy.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Date of Recording: 06/05/1979 
Venue:  Live  Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory 
Length: 17 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Préludes, Book 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; France 
Length: 11 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Préludes, Book 2 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; France 
Date of Recording: 05/26/1967 
Venue:  Live  Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory 
Length: 34 Minutes 35 Secs. 

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