Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 12, 22 & 23, Piano Concerto No. 1 - Richter / Munch

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 12, 22 & 23, Piano Concerto No. 1 - Richter / Munch

Sony Classical (Japan)  SICC-10148/49 (2 discs)

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 "Appassionata", Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat major Op. 26 "Funeral March", Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major Op. 54, Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15

Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Charles Munch (conductor)

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Analogue recording
Comments (2)

Comment by Athenaeus - January 25, 2023 (1 of 2)

This two-disc set came out in 2012. It's still available new. I recently purchased it.

These are great performances, no doubt about it. However, potential buyers should be aware there's obviously something wrong with Richter's piano. In several passages it produces strange squeaks and resonances. One eventually gets used to it but it is a bit annoying. I can't help but think this problem is emphasized by the high-resolution remastering. (I don't believe they should have attempted to correct this, though. If it's part of the original recording, it should stay there.)

But had I known there was this issue, I don't think I would have gone to the trouble of ordering this Japanese edition.

While I'm on the topic of this set, I have to digress a bit. I got this set as much for Munch as for Richter. Munch was such a fine conductor and his Boston forces were so good under his baton! A lot of their best recordings were released by Living Stereo many years ago. They're now difficult to obtain and some of them can probably be bettered with today's remastering technology. In the last decade Sony and Analogue Productions have been releasing some of Munch's recordings as SACDs. I really hope they will continue to do so.

Comment by Athenaeus - February 5, 2023 (2 of 2)

The SACD fairy heard my prayer! She won't grant me exactly what I had asked for in my previous comment, but it will be something similar.

Tower Records just announced they'll be releasing a three-disc set containing all the recordings Munch did for EMI with the Paris Orchestra (catalogue number TDSA251). Okay, most of these had already been released on SACD in the past and they generally aren't as good as the versions he did with the Boston Symphony. Nonetheless, they're excellent recordings and it will be nice to have them all in one box — and newly remastered.