Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Two Titans of the Keyboard - Sviatoslav Richter Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli|
Actors: Sviatoslav Richter, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
Indeed We Have Two Titans
BLee | HK | 06/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richter: The video is in B/W and is of rather poor quality, shot mainly from the right side of his back and where there are reflections of light, they appear as "black outs". Fortunately, there are close-ups of the hands quite often and his hand position is quite unique. As opposed to Glenn Gould, Richter sits rather high and played with very curved fingers. At times the whole hand would turn when using his little finger, and there are a lot of bodily movements as well. More importantly: his command is absolute and his phrasings are so seamless and his touch could be so delicately light; and there is a strong sense of drama thoughout and a lot of poetry in his Ravel which is even better than Moiseiwitsch's version. Michelengeli: perfect visual quality in colour with part of the piece shot from an aerial angle, showing how the two hands are working together. Yes, it's Beethoven Sonata # 3. No wonder he plays it more like Mozart than Beethoven. There is also a lot of lyricism, though obviously not to the extent of Backhaus (CD only)-- there is so much poetry in Backhaus' version that it's a piece of art itself. With Michelengeli, everything is well calculated and yet spontaneous: we hear a lot of music albeit with Arrau (again, CD only), you'll have music plus a lot of drama. But with either Michelangeli or Arrau, you can hear every notes crystal clear: both are perfect models for piano pupils, both superior to Brendel. But note that the sound is however not as good as the video would suggest, it's either because of the position of the microphone or the overloaded recording level: whenever we have a fortissimo, we hear more of the banging of the keys than it's musical effect.I'm not particular about the recorded time. On the whole, each one played 1/2 hour or so and from their faces, I gather that they were in their early fifties and both were in their prime. Anyway, the footage of these pianists of the golden age is rare now."
And Now for Something Completely Practical
Robespierre | New York | 11/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a superb DVD. It features two of my favorite pianists executing challenging pieces exceptionally well, as usual (oxymoron intended). However, my reason for posting is not to add another in-depth review to this page (since others have performed that service) but rather to offer a list of the compositions performed by the two pianists, since Amazon and the other reviewers have not done so as yet. (I don't know about you, but I base my buying decisions on the program itself as well as the performers.)
Sonata for Piano No.3, in C Major, op. 2-3 (Beethoven)
Intermezzo No. 5 in E minor, op. 116 (Brahms)
Sonata for Piano No. 2 in D minor, op. 14 (Prokofiev)
Jeux d'eau (Ravel)
Alborada del gracioso (Ravel)
Clearly, this is a rewarding list of compositions. It contains no insipid war-horses or flashy treacle -- just thoughtful, perfectly written works executed by brilliant pianists, each of whom has his own distinct ways of highlighting and clarifying the musical architecture.
In Michelangeli's version of the Third Sonata, each individual part is given its own distinct touch, the voicings are perfectly balanced in tone and volume, and the architectonics are emphasized with restrained and painterly clarity. He even manages to make the uncharacteristically wordy virtuosity of Beethoven's 3rd sound proportional: His sound world is a fully realized house containing just the right number of floors and passionate occupants.
Richter's sense of form and texture is broad and intelligent, as always. His command of dynamics and tone is authoritative and rich. This works surprisingly well with Ravel, whose neo-classical sense of form is made conspicuous by Richter's emphasis on separate lines, which he brings out with dynamics and detache that prove as important as that impressionistic pedal.
My only wish is that we could have heard/watched Michelangeli play Debussy (the fifth Etude, perhaps, or something from Images) to compare to Richter's Ravel.
The End. May the above list aid you in making an appropriate purchasing decision (though I doubt you could go wrong buying this DVD; when else will you have the chance to watch two golden-age alchemists turn technique and taste into eyelid-crinkling sonic manna?)."